Traditional medicine practitioners in the country have knocked the Nigerian Government over the decision to import Madagascar’s herbal drugs, ‘COVID-Organics, for the treatment of Coronavirus.
The practitioners called for adequate funding for traditional medicine in the country with the view to providing drugs that would cure viral infections including COVID-19.
Chief Executive Officer of Whomp Int’l Centre Alternatives Therapy, Dr Aminu Kazeem Olawale, who spoke with Saharareporters on the issue, said funding had been the major challenge in the sector.
He added that traditional medical practitioners in the country had the potential and capacity to develop a research-based herbal cure for Coronavirus ravaging the world.
Olawale condemned the decision of the importation of the drugs, adding that Nigeria had in abundance all the ingredients used in producing Madagascar’s COVID Organics.
On his own part, a Consultant Clinical Herbal Medicine expert, Prof Idowu Ogunkoya, chided the government for not yielding to their requests on the need to prioritise and invest in herbal medicine as alternative source of revenue for the country.
“If Nigerian Government had prioritised the development of herbal drugs, it would have been a major source of income now that the oil has crashed.
“We said it can generate revenue than oil but they did not believe us.
“There is nothing bad in it but there is everything bad in it for government to order herbal drugs from Madagascar. We have been calling on government for ages to invest in herbal medicine but all our efforts have been in vain.”
He therefore called on regulatory bodies to show commitment in the sector in developing a potential herbal remedy for prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
Another traditional medicine expert, Okubena Jobelyn, told our correspondent that there are lots of herbal drugs capable of boosting body immunity and preventing COVID-19.
He therefore called on the Ministry of Health to subject these products to scientific evaluation to determine its toxicity.
He said, “Anything that can boost immune system properly will take care of Coronavirus.”
Dr Akintunde Ayeni popularly called YEMKEM International, who also spoke with SaharaReporters, said he had developed herbal drugs for the treatment of the virus and would be ready in the next three months.
He said, “On our own side, we are trying to develop the medicine traditionally that will serve as preventive and curative for COVID-19 and any kind of viral diseases.”
“The medicine we are bringing out is in conjunction with Oni of Ife that would serve as remedy to any kind of viral infections.
“When your immunity is very strong, it will fight any kind of infectious diseases.”
Director and Head of Department of Traditional Complimentary and Alternative, Federal Ministry of Health, Zainab Ujudud Shariff, said the ministry had cultivated the same plant used by Madagascar in 2007 – 2010.
She added that they had received many of the herbal products, which claimed to have the capacity to cure the virus and would be subjected to scientific evaluation in line with medical protocol.
She said the process would not take more than two weeks when the relevant and appropriate agencies would be invited to carry out their findings before the ministry would make its recommendation.
Meanwhile Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, on his part pledged the readiness of the apex bank to provide long-term facilities for researchers and scientists interested in coming up with a local vaccine for the cure of COVID-19.
He disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja during the commissioning of the ThisDay Dome Temporary Treatment and Isolation Centre.
“In order to encourage greater research and development in Nigeria of drugs and vaccines that would help prevent the spread of the virus, the CBN is developing a framework under which grants and long term facilities will be provided to researchers, science institutions and biotechnology firms to develop the Nigerian vaccine.”