NAFDAC chief: herbal medicine key to healthcare delivery

National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Director-General (DG) Dr. Paul Orhii, has underscored the importance of herbal medicine to healthcare delivery.

According to him, herbal medicine has a big role to play in healthcare.

Orhii spoke when he visited the Pax Herbal Clinic and Research Laboratories in Ewu, Edo State.

Orhii praised the centre’s high level of scientific research, quality assurance and good manufacturing practice, which he descibed as the best of its kind in Nigeria and West Africa.

NAFDAC, he said, would continue to work with Paxherbals as partners in progress, adding that he would strengthen the capacity of traditional healers in ensuring quality assurance and good manufacturing practice.

Orhii frowned at some herbal practitioners who make bogus and unsubstantiated claims about herbal cures and thanked Paxherbals for introducing true professionalism and scientific rigour in its research and production.

He enjoined Fr. Adodo and his team to continue to be true ambassadors of herbal medicine in Nigeria and Africa.

Orhii and team toured the ultra-modern facilities, which include the microbiology, quality control, chemistry and diagnostic laboratories, the herbarium, production and processing workshops.

Responding, Director, Paxherbals, Fr. Anselm Adodo said:  “Paxherbals is the only herbal manufacturing company left in Nigeria that is still locally producing its herbal medicines, despite the harsh economic climate which makes it easier and more profitable to be an importer rather than a manufacturer.

“It is no wonder that the Nigerian market is flooded with herbal products from China, India and other Asian countries, and from Europe. By so doing, Nigeria is creating wealth abroad and promoting poverty at home”.

Adodo said:  “If NAFDAC wants to leave a lasting legacy for herbal medicine development in Nigeria, we are your best ally. If you want to set a sustainable standard for herbal medicine promotion and development in Nigeria, we are your best collaborator. If you want to make history by initiating the first clinical trial of herbal products for diabetes, malaria and hypertension (to mention a few) in Africa, we are your best bet. There are thousands of traditional herbal practitioners out there who have efficacious herbal recipes for serious chronic diseases. They need help and training in standardisation and packaging. Some of them are trying to set up tiny ‘factories’ in their backyard as laboratories. These people may never have the technical and financial capacity to meet NAFDAC requirements for registration. If they die with such valuable knowledge, posterity will not forgive us. Here at our centre, we empathise with them and we speak for them. They know us and they trust us. Most often, they accuse NAFDAC of being a bully rather than partner in progress. We are ready and willing to partner with NAFDAC to reach out to these people and assure them that NAFDAC is their friend not their enemy. For at the end of the day, what the agency under your administration will be remembered for is not how many local factories it managed to close down but how it was able to encourage, support, sustain and nurture local pharmaceutical companies and helped to preserve indigenous knowledge”.

Head, Scientific Research and Development at Paxherbals, Prof Joseph Okogun urged NAFDAC to support herbal practitioners in drug standardisation, laboratory analysis and training, since many herbal practitioners do not have the financial capacity to operate a standard laboratory.

The post NAFDAC chief: herbal medicine key to healthcare delivery appeared first on The Nation.

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