Nigerian medical experts and health workers oppose plans by the federal government to bring in herbal tonics, COVID-Organics (CVO), from Madagascar for the treatment of coronavirus patients in Nigeria.
The experts who include pharmacists, nurses and laboratory scientists may not be agreeing with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha who said Nigeria was expected to receive samples of the COVID-Organics from Madagascar.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and other health stakeholders from the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) believe it’s a national disgrace for Nigeria with all its national resources and level of educational advancement to be importing such remedy from Madagascar.
The PSN’s premise is based on the fact that Nigeria has more medical and health experts locally and globally, plus arrays of institutions who are skilled enough to research and profer similar solutions.
PSN President, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa described the government’s plan as shameful and disgraceful because:
Nigeria has about 174 universities (43 federal, 52 state and 79 private); 20 faculties of pharmacy and about 69 Federal Government-funded research institutes, including National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), Abuja and the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR),Yaba, Lagos while Madagascar has only six universities, one faculty of pharmacy and nine research centres.
• Nigeria has some of the best scientists (pharmaceutical, medical, biochemical, biological, among others) in the world who have done so much work on natural and herbal medicines.
•Nigeria has developed a pharmacopeia of natural and herbal products and has one of the richest flora and fauna–potent sources of phytomedicines.
•Since the outbreak of the COVID-19, a number of them have raised their voices that they have herbal and natural products that can be used to treat or manage COVID-19. Some have patents. Many herbal companies and producers have announced specifically that they have herbal formulations that can do what this ‘invention’ from Madagascar does.
However, Mustapha who doubles as the chairman of the task force said the herbal medicine would go through a standard validation process before it could be considered for use in Nigeria.