By Henry Odeh
The Oyo State Government and the management of the University of Ibadan on Friday met some herbal practitioners in the state with a view to finding a solution that would have scientific validation for the cure of COVID-19.
Speaking with newsmen at the end of its second meeting at the University premises, Rev. Idowu Ogedengbe, the Executive Assistant to Gov. Seyi Makinde, said that some of the herbal practitioners have samples and mixtures.
“We don’t want to take it on the surface and start promoting it, but subject them to scientific validation.
“So that by the time our virologists, chemists, botanists and other relevant professionals within UI community look at those solutions; we will come up with something that the global community would benefit from,” Ogendengbe said.
The UI Vice Chancellor, Prof. Olayinka Idowu, said the collaboration was important, saying the combination of academia, government officials, people from the private sector and herbal practitioners would be perfect and best approach.
Idowu noted that there have been a lot of mistrust over the years as regards traditional herbal medicine, saying that the collaboration would enable them research into scientific basis and ingredients to make the drug effective and acceptable.
“As we speak, no drug has been fund for the cure of COVID-19; I think our scientists here can collaborate with traditional herbal practitioners to chart a way forward,” the VC said.
Speaking on behalf of the traditional herbal practioners, Mr Taye Oyerinde, said herbal medicine was the most realistic solution for the treatment of COVID-19.
Oyerinde observed that Western colonisation of Africans was responsible for the retrogression of traditional herbal development.
He said what Nigeria needed now was fire brigade approach to cure the COVID-19 pandemic and that herbal practitioners have drugs that could cure it.
Oyerinde added that there was no reason to be looking up to Western world to proffer solution for the cure of COVID-19.
The herbal practitioner, who is also the traditional ruler of Ekotedo community in Ibadan, gave evidence that he was blind for three years, but received his sight through the use of herbal medicine.
He expressed optimism that the collaboration of the state government, the University of Ibadan and herbal practitioners would yield good result.
The Southwest Zonal Director of NAFDAC, Mrs Preye Edotimi, said the agency was ready to collaborate with all herbal producers to ensure that COVID-19 pandemic come to an end.
Edotimi said NAFDAC was ready to expedite the registration facilities of their products, saying those with already good manufacturing practice certificate with the agency, needed just to apply as there won’t be any need for inspection and within two weeks they would be given their listing NAFDAC registration number,
“Immediately the University finishes the analysis of the product and get us the result, we will look into it by taking the product into our laboratory and issue the registration number,” she stated.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that two separate sub committees were set up at the meeting to fast track submission of product samples and scientific evaluations of samples.