The Minister of State for Health, Dr. (Sen.) Olorunnimbe Adeleke Mamora has revealed that the ministry of health in collaboration with other partners was working on a cure for covid-19 using traditional medicine.
Dr. Mamora stated this today at a press briefing on the occasion of the 19th African Traditional Medicine Day in Abuja.
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Dr. Mamora disclosed that the Federal Ministry of Health was working in collaboration with international organisations and relevant MDA’s to ensure the discovery of effective remedies against COVID-19 and other diseases from the rich and extensive flora of the country. He said:
“The series of events in the world during this period of the COVID-19 pandemic calls for the need to look inwards and consider local production of medicines as necessary for national security and attainment of Universal Health Coverage.
“The Federal Ministry of Health on its efforts for local content tasked the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research & Development (NIPRD) and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration & Control (NAFDAC) to scale up their activities towards the search for a local solution to the pandemic.
“Accordingly, NAFDAC was directed to list more medicinal plant products”, he explained.
The Minister hinted that his Ministry inaugurated an expert committee for the development of protocols for evaluation of herbal medicinal products as a way of promoting research.
Also a data base of traditional medicine practitioners was being developed for ease of collaboration in research, development and promotion of traditional medicine, Dr. Mamora revealed.
He said they were currently working towards the review of the Nigeria Herbal Pharmacopoeia and the Traditional Medicine Policy.
“All these measures are aimed at strengthening our resources for delivery of quality, efficacious and safe traditional medicine products.
” We also have in place an expert committee for the setting up of Traditional, Complementary & Alternative Medicine Institute to serve for the training of professionals in this sector”, said the Minister.
The efforts of government in this regard, he noted have greatly minimized the negative consequences of the covid-19 disease on the health and economy of Nigerians.
Speaking further on efforts made by the country to achieve self-sufficiency in the use of traditional medicine, the minister added:
“Let me use this opportunity to inform us of the availability of ten (10) Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS) on African Traditional Medicine, developed by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria.
“The Standards are reference documents to be utilized by Traditional Medicine Practitioners, Researchers, Students, Manufacturers of herbal medicinal products etc.; aimed at providing safe, quality and efficacious traditional medicines for local consumption and export.
” The Standards could be accessed by the public at SON offices across the country, said Dr. Mamora.
In his remark, Alhaji Mahmoud Mamman, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health expounded on the economic benefit of traditional medicine to the country and called for more research to develop our medicinal plants. He said:
“The economic benefit of traditional medicine is the provision of jobs to our unemployed youths in the area of conservation, cultivation and harvesting of medicinal plants. This will help reduce youth restiveness.
“Nigeria is blessed with about 8,000 medicinal plants yet to be utilized in the area of research, development and value addition.
“There is therefore the need to look in wards to research and develop our medicinal plants for the benefit of all”, said Alhaji Mahmoud.