By Idowu Abdullahi,
The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has called on the Federal Government to ensure Madagascar’s COVID-19 organic is subjected to proper clinical evaluation and trails before it would be approved for the treatment of coronavirus patients in Nigeria.
The call came on the heels of the apex government announcement that the nation is set to receive its allocation of the Madagascar Covid-19 herbal syrup, which is touted to be effective in the treatment of the viral infection.
NMA President, Dr Francis Faduyile, while raising concern over planned importation of the organic warned that the medicine should be subjected to series of validation tests in order to determine efficacy and proper usage before administration to coronavirus patients.
Faduyile, through a statement released to newsmen on Friday, stressed that the herbal medicine must undergo appropriate validation by the relevant agencies in the country, saying such feat could have been achieved locally if adequate funding had been allocated for researchers in the country.
The association president while decrying the government’s action said Nigeria’s acceptance of the herbal remedy from Madagascar will halt the search for local remedial interventions in protecting the lives of 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 authorising its use in the polity while urging the government to leapfrog the revitalization of research and production activities of our pharmaceutical industries,” the statement said.
Recall that the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), had also urged the government to authorised research for local remedies alongside appropriate funding for Nigerian researchers to provide local remedies for the treatment of coronavirus pandemic in the country.
The President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Sam Ohuabunwa, said with adequate funding for the country’s researchers, who had proven to be some of the best scientists in Pharmaceutical, Medical, Biochemical, Biological amongst others, getting local remedies won’t be far fetched.
Ohuabunwa, through a statement released to newsmen on Tuesday, said with about sixty-nine federal-funded Research Institutes including National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research & Development and the National Institute for Medical Research, the country is poised to produce the best local remedies if authorized and funded by the government.
According to him, the scientists needed the apex government’s trust, adequate funding to complete local vaccine research on coronavirus to augment the existing treatment protocols for patients of the deadly respiratory infection.
“Nigeria has some of the best scientists (Pharmaceutical, Medical, Biochemical, Biological, etc.) in the world who have done so much work on natural and herbal medicines. Nigeria has developed a pharmacopeia of natural and herbal products and has one of the richest flora and fauna – potent sources of phytomedicines. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19, a number of them have raised their voices that they have herbal and natural products that can be used to treat or manage COVID-19. Some have patents. Many herbal companies and producers have announced specifically that they have herbal formulations that can do what this ‘invention’ from Madagascar can do.