TOYIN ADEBAYO, ABUJA
His Imperial Majesty, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi has appealed to the Federal , State Governments, the National and State Assemblies to rise up to the new challenge by providing the needed funding, legislative and Policy support to jump start African Traditional Medicines (ATM).
The Oba also recommended to the National and State Assemblies nation wide to appropriate money for research and development of ATM in the 2021 Budget.
Saying, the current economic downturn occasioned by Covid-19 pandemic compels us to seek effective diversification of the economy, while enjoining the Central Bank of Nigeria and Bank of Industry to set aside special grants for the development of ATM.
He made this known at a press conference to celebrate the African Traditional Medicine Day and Launch of the Pan African Foundation for Traditional Medical Research and Development (PAFIMERD).
He, however, noted that Covid-19 pandemic has created a new opportunity and virile conditions for our Indigenous herbal medicines to thrive.
While hinting that, he sought ways of ameliorating the sufferings Nigerians and stop avoidable deaths of our People through promotion and Development of African Traditional Medicines.
According to His Imperial Majesty ; “I am happy to announce that My Virasol herbal Medicine is one of the over 40 herbal Medicines submitted to NAFDAC for registration as immune booster against Covid-19 disease. I am very glad the herbal remedy has passed NAFDAC Laboratory tests and the registration number will be out this week.
“The Virsol immune boosting herbal medicine is one of the series of herbal remedies developed under the aegis of my new initiative , Pan African Foundation for Indigenous Medical Research and Development (PAFIMERD) for which I am launching today to the glory of Almighty God.
“The PAFIMERD has the following noble objectives: To create a formidable and virile organisation and platform for the promotion and growth of African Traditional Medicine (ATM); To conduct and support research and development of African Medicine especially herbal medicines; To mobilise and create an African wide Intervention Fund for research and development of ATM.
“To initiate and support policies, laws and regulations for the growth of ATM; To undertake any other activity geared towards promoting the growth of ATM; andTo serve as a rallying point and clearing house for all private initiatives and Researches in ATM.”
Oba Ogunwusi added that, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has set aside 31st August for the Celebration of Africa Traditional Medicine every year. This year’s celebration is historic in the sense that the global covid-19 pandemic which ravaged the world in the last six months has brought to the front burner the significance and strategic importance of Africa Traditional Medicine to our healthcare delivery systems in Nigeria and Africa at large.
He further stated that, the Covid-19 pandemic has challenged and put on trial orthodox Medicines and repositioned African Traditional Medicines as credible alternative sources of therapy and cure for several illnesses and diseases.
He stated that , PAFIMERD is in the process of signing an MoU with National Institute for Pharmaceuticals Research and Development (NIPRD).
The NIPRD Director General, Dr Obi Adigwe has been a great source of inspiration for the Foundation and we shall be collaborating to harness the huge potentials of our Indigenous herbal medicines which should naturally be a major source of foreign exchange earning like in China and India, he added.
He, however, noted that he is optimistic that with a strong collaboration between PAFIMERD, NIPRD and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control ( NAFDAC) we shall soon change the negative narrative of our African Traditional Medicine and reposition it as a major foreign exchange earner to the Country.