Covid-19: Herbalists Seek Inclusion in Search for Solution

Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu

Kayode Fasua in Abeokuta

The Traditionalists/Herbalists Association of Nigeria, yesterday advised the federal government to seek home-grown solution to the Coronavirus pandemic, promising that if fully mobilised, its members could make useful inputs.

Speaking in an interview with THISDAY, the leader of the association in Ifo/Ota zone of Ogun State, Dr. Ismail Akiode, said while it was needful for all to abide by the self-isolation rules and other precautionary prescriptions, it was also important for the government, through the ministry of health, to collaborate with herbalists and traditionalists, with a view to finding a lasting solution.

“Even in China, where the disease was first discovered and where many souls had been wiped off, they are making some breakthrough, using their local content, to combat the dreaded Covid-19,”’ he said.

Akiode particularly lauded an indigenous biotechnological company, that has started searching for solution to the Coronavirus, through native herbs.

The said company, STK Biotech Limited, had in a letter addressed to the Director General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Abuja, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, said the firm aimed to provide science-based evidence for medically important phyto-products, readily and locally sourced from the communities; while at the same time make available, training, laboratory production space and expertise for capacity development of researchers.

The letter signed by its Chief Executive Officer, Engr. Stanley Ukaga, stated, “We are geared towards producing affordable nature-driven supplements developed solely from locally available bio-resources backed up with extensive credible research as well as research publications, having developed and licensed six products as certified by NAFDAC.

“Some of which are of particular interest are: STK Phytoimmune which is indicated as immune support for HIV/AIDS patients on antiretroviral therapies that enhances the increase in CD4 counts and significantly reduces the viremia and cleanses the liver.

“This is evident in the stabilisation of the liver enzyme markers: SGOT, SGPT etc. We do know that the toxic side effects of synthetic antiretroviral therapies are felt at the level of the liver and kidneys.

“Phytoimmune is a great complement to the antiretroviral drugs enhancing and prolonging lives. Its major constituent is naturally extracted beta glucans with immune stimulatory activities.

“Another product is STK Hepatozone and STK Boosters that are antiviral and immune boosting nutraceuticals extracted organically from locally consumed mushrooms and vegetables.

“They are good support for management of hepatitis and other viral infections such as viral hemorrhagic fevers, respectively.”