<strong>The National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) has stepped its campaign to counter myths and correct misconceptions about COVID-19.
Dr Obi Adigwe, Director-General of NIPRD, made this known in an interview with our correspondent in Abuja.
The initiative, he said, was put in place to end to the spate of wrong information about the coronavirus pandemic among the populace.
“Our teams went out to educate people in their neighbourhoods and there is a sense of appreciation from the public, especially those who are uninformed about the very infectious virus.
”What NIPRD decided to do is to take the phytomedicines development strategy down to the grassroots in order to expedite an improvement of access to health whilst at the same time stimulating socioeconomic development.
”Phytomedicine involves usage of herb-based traditional medicinal practice employing different plant materials that are both preventive and therapeutic.
”Other objectives the institute aims at achieving by this strategy, includes increased awareness of policy makers, stakeholders, investors and development partners about the importance and potential of the phytomedicines sector.
“The other thing is that we want to build the capacity of the phytomedicinal practitioners themselves.
”We want to build their capacity and 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 listing and teach them how to partner with people in terms of bringing their products forward for marketing” he explained.
On the development activities of the Institute, the NIPRD boss noted the agency has also ensured that products made in the country were prioritised, when it comes to manufacturing of sanitisers, as well as for other preventive and supportive interventions such as Niprimune.
“We have also spearheaded the articulation in policies which encourage us to look inwards, strategies that encourage development of home-grown solutions are now being escalated and prioritised” he added.