By Daniel Tyokua
A Phyto medicine practitioner, Odilim Enwegbara has vowed to intensify research work to make Nigeria a destination point for herbal medicine.
The expert who is also a development economist, stated that Nigeria is blessed with abundant herbal plants that if well harnessed, would be envy to other countries of the world.
Enwegbara disclosed this in an exclusive interview on Sunday with The AUTHORITY in Abuja.
He explained that COVID-19 is a wake- up call for the country, advising that the leaders should not wait until another outbreak of virus before it could put its house in order.
“We have to sit up, invest and engage relevant experts that will proffer solutions to virus outbreaks. With COVID-19, more measures should be put in place before another disease hit us.
“But we must note that only professionals should be involved in finding solution to the disease, politicising it would not bring about the desired results” he said.
The respected expert commended the Federal Government’s initiative of the intervention fund for its practitioners even as he advised the government to resist pressures from politicians in giving the grants for research.
His words: “Government should remove politics and provide genuine interventions for professionals.”
He said that only certified professionals should be allowed to access the fund which will put Nigeria in a vintage position in matters relating to the epidemics and pandemics.
Enwegbara warned that the world should expect more outbreaks in this 21st century, even as he opined that the best to do is to get ready in concert with the research institutes and agencies.
He submits that with the right atmosphere and policy support, his organisation can find total cure to some of the diseases ravaging the world rather than suppressing it as the case is presently. He listed such diseases as HIV/AIDS, Sickle Cell, Covid-19 and many others.
He called on Nigerians to sponsor bills that legalize the use of certain plants under strict monitoring.
He noted that Nigeria, since independence has been over- relying on foreign manufacturers for medicine and pharmaceutical products, insisting it’s time to change the narrative.