By Kasim Sumaina
The Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola has said the solution to human illnesses lies in herbs which are available in Nigeria and Africa at large.
This is even as he stated that the major challenge was for the practitioners to employ technology to turn the abundant herbs to medicines for the health and prosperity of the people.
He made the assertion recently in Osogbo, at the training conference for Healthy Population and Assured Economic Prosperity, organised by the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD).
According to him, “this is even more so that phytomedicine, which is herbal medicine with therapeutic and healing processes, is as old as human civilisation.”
He urged pharmacy practictioners and relevant stakeholders in the country to take advantage of the opportunity offered by the technology and knowledge-driven 21st century to engage and invest in cutting edge research and top-notch capacity building to develop affordable medicines for a healthy and prosperous nation and the continent at large.
“For NIPRD to succeed in its effort to improve access to health and stimulate socio-economic development through the development of contextual phytomedicine, it must adopt best practices in its engagements” Oyetola said.
Speaking at the conference, the Director General, NIPRD, Dr. Obi Adigwe said that the critical issue about fighting medicine development in Nigeria was that practictioners who require support in terms of investment, funding and capacity building have been totally missed out in finetune medicinal development strategy.
Adigwe noted that what NIPRD has decided to do was to take the development strategy down to the grassroots.
He however stated that the seven objectives the institute wants to achieve in the training were to increase the awareness of policy makers, political office holders, investors and technical partners of the nature and the importance of the prioritisation of the fine tune of the medicine sector.
“The second thing is that we want to build the capacity of the fine-tune medicine practitioners themselves.
“We want to build their capacity, we want to teach them how to harvest plants, teach them how to document their practices, teach them the importance of research and development in their activities, teach them how to apply for NAFDAC list, and teach them how to partner with people in terms of bringing their product for marketing.
“You will help me tell the state government that we want to select five products from this state at the end of this programme that we can take to the next level; product that can have NAFDAC list that can earn revenue for the practitioners and the government that would contribute to the health development of this country.
“We also want them to partner the state government and stakeholders that will bring a regional development in fine-tune medicine in Nigeria,” he said
On the development, the DG said they were able to bring research and development to the fore of Nigeria. We also ensured that products produced in Nigeria are prioritised, when it comes to manufacturing of sanitisers, production of sickle cell drugs among others.
“We have also ensured that the level of articulation in policies which encourage us to look inwards, develop solutions has been brought to the fore burner,” he stated.