Federal Government health agencies have gotten the Madagascar herbal drug for evaluation.
The health agencies include National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC), the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), and the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR).
Recalling the herbal drug samples was brought to Nigeria on May 16 by Guinea Bissau President Umaro Sissoco Embaló.
Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire said on Thursday that the samples were found to be in two varieties; one for prevention, the other for treatment.
Dr. Ehanire said;
“Global efforts to find a cure for COVID-19, in which Nigeria is participating in the WHO solidarity trial, will be reviewed by our panel of experts, as WHO suspended the trial, due to alarm raised by a medical journal, on the safety of some drugs being tried, like hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, and their combinations.”
“Proposals for the trial of local remedies for the disease have been sent to the relevant research and testing agencies for scientific evaluation.”
“Samples of the Madagascar herbs have been given to three agencies of the Ministry of Health – NAFDAC, NIPRD, and NIMR. We have written to the Ministry of Science and Technology to expect samples because they also have agencies that conduct research on phytomedicines.”
“These are normal processes for new preparations to be approved for use in Nigeria and include toxicological and efficacy tests and clinical trials. The government will investigate all genuine efforts to find homegrown solutions to the pandemic.”
However, The Director-General of the West Africa Health Organization (WAHO),Prof. Stanley Okoli disclosed that its organization will support traditional practitioners with claims of either an outright cure for COVID-19 or its treatment, with clinical trials.
WAHO is yet to endorse Madagascar’s solution for the treatment and management of COVID-19 patients, he further said.