By Adedayo Akinwale in Lokoja
To have a breakthrough in some terminal diseases that have defiled medical solutions, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu and his Ministry of Health counterpart, Prof. Isaac Adewole, yesterday visited a traditional medicine Â practitioner,Â Pa Adai Giwa,Â in Okene, Kogi State, who healed a man of nine-year prostrate cancer, seeking residues.
Onu, while speaking on the purpose of his visit, saidÂ the government was Â interested in what the 90-year-old man Â was doing, saying Â he would be in a position to help many Nigerians.
Â According to him, â€œWe Â want a situation where he can transfer his knowledge to his children and he can also let our natural medicine development agency to know about these herbs, Â so that we will do more research, and from it, we will be able to identify the active ingredients and use that to create jobs for Nigerians.
â€œIt will help save lives and improve quality of life. It is wonderful that the secrets embedded in the herbs and roots in our forest can now come out to solve problems that the world thought could not be solved and this will help the world know that Nigeria is truly a great nation. When all the investigations are done, this will be a major contribution to knowledge, and we believe healthcare delivery will benefit a lot.â€ Â
Onu promised that government would Â meet the challenges that Giwa has complained about, including building a four-bedroom bungalow for him, and also give him a car to make his work easier.
The minister explained that gesture was being made to encourage other Nigerians know that they should release the secrets that could help cure diseases so that it can be worked on by working with the ministry of health, and also call pharmaceutical companies to develop them into drugs.
Onu noted: â€œThe gesture we are making here is not just for him but for people like him who have kept these secrets and make them know that it is better to make the secrets available to research institutes so it can be utilised for ourselves and the rest of the world.
â€œWe cannot be a great nation when we depend on other people to solve all our problem, we need to make contributions to the world to make foreigners know that Nigerians are very intelligent and as a nation, see knowledge as something important.â€
The minister, however, promised that whoever makes his work available, after the necessary research might have been carried the patent would be written in a way that the originator of the idea would have certain percentage after it might have been commercialisedÂ
On his part, Adewole said there was no conflict between orthodox medicine and Â science, adding thatÂ they can collaborate to ensure effective health care delivery, provided the orthodox methods have been subjected to scientific research. Â