The Director General of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), Dr. Obi Adigwe, has decried the poor support and attention being received by people engaged in research and development of herbal medicines in Nigeria.
Adigwe said that the herbal medicine practictioners requires support in terms of investment, funding and capacity building, thus suggesting for a robust and comprehensive engagement in discussions relating to the sector’s development strategy.
NIPRD in a statement released in Abuja, on Wednesday, indicated that Dr. Adigwe, made the suggestion at a three-day conference which was held both physically and virtually in Osogbo, Osun State.
He noted that the conference was part of efforts of the NIPRD to step up its capacity building mandate by organising grassroot training for phytomedicinal practitioners aimed at improving access to health and stimulating socio-economic development.
He listed the seven objectives the institute wanted to achieve by organising the conference to include drawing the attention of policy makers, political office holders, investors and development partners about the importance and potential of the phytomedicines sector.
Secondly, to build the capacity of the phytomedicinal practitioners themselves. “We want to teach them how to harvest plants, how to document their practices, the importance of research and development in their activities, how to apply for NAFDAC listing, and how to partner with people in terms of marketing,” Adigwe explained.
The NIPRD Director General, however, disclosed that his institute have concluded plans to select five products from Osun state that can be taken to the next level.
The Products, he said, must have NAFDAC listing that can earn revenue for the practitioners and the Government, and which would consequently contribute to the socioeconomic development of this country.
Speaking on the development activities of the Institute, Adigwe said his organisation has successfully brought research and development to the fore of this country.
“We also ensured that products made in Nigeria are prioritised when it comes to manufacturing of sanitiser, production of sickle cell drugs among others.
“In addition to that, we have spearheaded articulation in policies which encourages us to look inwards and develop home-grown solutions to challenges, ” he stated.