NMA Kicks against FG’s Acceptance of Madagascar Herbal Drug

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By Onyebuchi Ezigbo

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has kicked against the move by the federal government to give consideration to the Madagascar Covid Organics.

In a health policy advisory jointly signed by NMA president, Dr. Francis Faduyile, and General Secretary, Dr. Olumuyiwa Odusote, the association said such a move was bound to discourage local research efforts.

“The acceptance of the herbal remedy from Madagascar ‘Covid Organics’ by the Federal Government is an act of pulling all stops in search of remedial interventions in protecting the lives of our citizens.

“We appreciate the concerns of our colleagues in the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and bemoan the situation where Nigeria appears to be lagging and not leading the black race’s response against the pandemic.

“NMA insists that the herbal mixture undergoes due diligence based on scientific methods before authorizing its use in the polity while urging the government to leapfrog the revitalization of research and production activities of our pharmaceutical industries,” it said.

Similarly NMA has faulted the newly approved WHO’s home treatment policy for COVID-19 patients.

It cautioned that the peculiarities in Nigeria should be taken into consideration and therefore urged FG to adapt this new regulation.

The association said that it was carefully studying the overall impact of the newly approved WHO’s home treatment policy.

According to the association, while accepting the noticeable acute shortage of bed spaces available at the designated centres,  peculiarities in Nigeria should be taken into consideration before adopting the new regulation.

“Nigeria has an average of six (6) persons per household; and consequently, wholesale adoption of this guideline may not be applicable here. We risk an explosive regime of community transmission if we adopt the guidelines completely without modifications, especially in situations of poor housing and overcrowding.

” NMA is of the firm conviction that revamping our abandoned General Hospitals and Primary Health Centres (PHCs) will mitigate the challenges with home treatment and acute shortage of bed spaces. “We still maintain that Isolation and Treatment centres should stand alone to avoid the nosocomial spread of this infection especially in settings of poor hygiene practices,” it said.

NMA restated its condemnation of the opposition being witnessed by NCDC in its attempt to carry out its statutory functions in Kogi and Cross River states.

The association called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently intervene in the matter.

“The association has noted with displeasure the continued obstruction of the National Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) by the governments of Kogi and Cross River State. This impedance is despite the lofty provisions in the NCDC Establishment Act (2018) which empower the organization to “prevent, detect, monitor and control” activities and programs for the national response against infectious diseases epidemics and other public health emergencies; and also to  “lead, develop, coordinate” these activities. NMA views this development as unfortunate, condemnable and requires urgent intervention by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”