Connect with us


Anniversary: Agency produces herbal medicines for treatment of diabetes, others



Prof. Martins Emeje, the Director-General, Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA), says the agency has produced four medicines in appropriate dosage forms, in its drive to promote the use of herbal medicines.

He told our correspondent in Abuja on Monday that the four medications were part of activities carried out by the agency in the last one year.

According to Emeje, a professor of Drug Delivery and Nanomedicine, the agency converted natural foods and herbs indigenous to Nigeria to drugs to treat sickle cell, diabetes and slow aging process.

He added that the products, which are organic in nature, were launched on March 8.

He explained that “the medicines are Aberecin, used in the management of Diabetes Mellitus and Namdasan for the management of sickle cell disorder, which is a huge issue in the black population of the world and Nigeria is home to more than four million sufferers.

“We have that product containing at least eight different plants indigenous to Nigeria”, he added.

The director-general also said that the first herbal nano-product in Africa called Nanobere was also developed by the agency, and used in the treatment of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections.

He added that an anti-aging agent called Namdamune was developed by harnessing natural plants and herbs that do revitalisation, build the immune system and is responsible for slowing aging process.

He said “we got all these done in one year and it is not just about health, the significance of this is that Nigeria can develop its own products locally and manufacture locally, and that is medicine security.

“It means that the life of your people is in the hands of your people because the greatest disservice you can do to yourself is to have your own life in the hands of another person.”

He also said that the production of the herbal medicines resulted to job and wealth creation.

“This is because unlike the synthetic products that are imported, the basic materials used in making these medicines are from farms, local plants, animals, insects and sea animals all in Nigeria.

“The ingredients are abundant in the nation and farmers are needed to cultivate the herbs.

“So, you can imagine the millions of people that we need to cultivate one of the plants so by our calculation in producing one of our products, the process from the farm to the final production, we would have employed 3.8 million Nigerians.

“You can then imagine for four products, how many would have been employed?.

“So, if by two years of this administration, we are able to produce 10 medicines, multiply 3.8 million by 10 that’s the number we would have employed”, he said.

Emeje said that the aim of the agency is to use science and technology to innovatively address and put the herbs and plants in a form that they would not just be useful to Nigerians, but to also export them and get foreign exchange for the country.

This, he explained, is because the herbal medicine market alone is predicted to be about five trillion dollars in the next 13 years.

He, however, said that the plan of the agency is to have good agricultural and cultivation research farm in each political ward in the country.

According to him, the agency will establish a herbal manufacturing factory, using the prototype approved by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

He also said that the agency subjects itself to the evidence-based regulatory approach that NAFDAC is using for products regulation.

Additionally, the agency would establish a garlic research farm in Benue because studies have shown that there is high prevalence of asthma in Benue, he said.

“We will produce medicines for asthma in Benue because we do not want the people in Vandekiya to travel to Makurdi before they can get the products.

“We want them to be accessible to them in Vandekiya.

This is the practical way to show renewed hope.”

He said that the process would begin in the 774 local government areas of the country first before cascading to the wards.

On other achievements of the agency, he said medicinal plants used in the treatment of diseases in Nigeria had been documented.

According to him, the documentation is aimed at boosting Nigeria’s traditional medicine sector for optimal performance.

He also said that this would help in addressing some of the challenges the nation’s health sector faced.

“Every plant that is useful in treating one form of disease or the other in Nigeria is documented.

“We are going into full documentation of traditional medicine in Nigeria, all the 774 local governments in Nigeria, we have marked them out.

“We are going to document and do digital database of all traditional medical practitioners in Nigeria, what they do and give to people.

“All of these are aimed at standardisation.”

Emeje said that the project, which had already taken off in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State, involved in going from house to house to get the full statistics needed and that it would cascade to other LGAs in the country.

NEWSVERGE reports that NNMDA was established by the Federal Government in 1997 to research, collate, document, develop, promote and preserve knowledge, practice and products of natural medicine.

This is with a view to facilitating its integration into the national healthcare delivery system.

Folasade Akpan

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



Shell Digital Plan RESPONSIVE600x750
Shell Digital Plan RESPONSIVE600x750