COVID-19: NAFDAC invites, Iwu, Abalaka, Fr. Arazu, others for clinical trial of their herbal remedies

By Hassan Zaggi, Myke Uzendu and Ralph Izopu

The Director General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye has invited claimants of herbal cure novel for the novelle Coronavirus (Covid-19) disease to submit their products to the agency for clinical trials.

Prof. Adeyeye gave the directive in Abuja Wednesday, urging all persons who have developed medicines from local herbs/roots claiming it is capable of treating or reducing the impact of Covid-19 on patients, to bring such products to NAFDAC for clinical trials.

Among top claimants to having found local remedy to the deadly disease are renowned scientist and former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Maurice Iwu; controversial medical professional, Dr. Jeremiah Abalaka, top-rated Medical laboratory Scientist, Dr. Jacob Abdullahi, erudite Catholic Priest and traditional medicine expert, Rev. Fr. Raymond Arazu; scientists and monks at the Catholic Monastery, Ewu, Edo State, and a host of others.

These claimants have expressed worry that rather than give them opportunity to prove their claims, the Federal government would prefer to spend huge sums of the nation’s even leaner resources to import drug remedies claim made in Europe or America and had even given approval for the importation of the herbal remedy produced in Madagascar.

Own, Professor of Pharmacognosy and Researcher, had emphatically said he has for over five years developed herbal products which had been used to treat Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which he said is in the same family as Covid-19.

The United States-trained Scientist was emphatic that his products will cure Covid-19, and urged government to fast-track the clinical trials to save lives.
One other such claimant who spoke with The AUTHORITY, said “it is a thing of joy that we are being invited to make explanations. We would prefer that NAFDAC makes live telecast of the investigations. We are ready to submit to the strictest scientific proof of our findings”.

Another such claimant stated that “the problem we have not been developing is that we have this crab mentality among us in the medical field. When once somebody at Tue top is not the one or his team that made a discovery, such would be dismissed ignominiously and with impunity. It is good development bit I demand fairness and openness in the entire investigation”.

Yet, another lamented how the Nigerian health officials would jump at anything a business man from America or Europe brings to Nigeria in the name of vaccine or drug, and I want to tell you categorically that some of the actions taken by those in government are induced and because their palms had been greezed.

“Can you imagine they would jump at drugs claimed by the West to cure corona virus. Who in this world has actually dissected corona virus as to determine its proper cure? Our government also lands into another fatal error by failing to subject the remedies they accept from abroad, including the WHO hook line and sinker without bothering to cross check such remedies to see if it has any effect on people in the tropics or if it is laced with any poisonous substancd”.

Some of the people who spoke with The AUTHORITY on the issue attributed current difficulties in conception and deliveries in Nigeria to complications nd side effect of using condoms and some other stuff sent us for immunisation, which we never bothered to investigate but accepted in their forms and administered on our people.

Prof. Adeyeye stated that NAFDAC is ready to subject the home made discoveries to clinical trials as required by law and in accordance with international best practices.

She allayed fears being expressed about openness, emphasising that “the door is wide open for researchers and scientists who claim to have developed herbal products for the treatment of Covid-19 patients”.

Prof. Adeyeye’s acted on the statements of the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who had advised that herbal medicines are welcome but that practitioners should be prepared to subject their products to scientific proof.

The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 pandemic and Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha had equally tasked Nigerian scientists and researchers to come up with indigenous cure of Covid-19 disease, adding that government would encourage them.

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