Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ooni of Ife (middle) Unveils COVID-19 Herbal Drugs in Ile-Ife, Osun State Photo: Daily Nigerian

Ooni of Ife launches NAFDAC-approved indigenous COVID-19 cure

*With the launch of a local herbal cure against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ooni of Ife, Ojaja II, says a foundation has been launched for indigenous research-based initiatives in traditional medicines in Nigeria

*Dr. Akintunde Ayeni, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of YEMKEM International reveals the herbal drug innovation marked his greatest achievement in his over 40 years of traditional medicine practice

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Sequel to approvals by the regulatory authorities, including Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ooni of Ife, Ojaja II, has unveiled a series of traditional medicines, made from local herbs that boost human’s immune system against infectious diseases, including the fatal Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The herbal products unveiled, included Eroxil, an immune booster; and Bitter Leaf Capsule produced to attack diabetes and high blood pressure.

The product launch, held at the Ile Oodua Palace in Ile-Ife, Osun State, Thursday, February 25, was done through a platform called Herbal Remedies with the Ooni of Ife as the Chairman, in partnership with ace herbal manufacturer, Dr. Akintunde Ayeni, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of YEMKEM International Limited, according to agency report.

The Ooni of Ife, in his address on the occasion, wondered why the African continent imports medicines and other medical ingredients from developed countries of the world.

It is a proven fact, which is equally established by the World Health Organisation (WHO), that Africa has the best herbs which can be used for vaccine production, Oba Ogunwusi stated.

The foremost traditional ruler said: “We are not doing this in isolation and I am happy to inform you that the National Assembly is currently working on a bill submitted by the Federal Executive Council.

“The bill has passed through several legislative procedures and shall be passed into law very soon.”

According to him, a foundation has been launched for indigenous research-based initiatives in traditional medicines.

The Ooni of Ife further said: “I am very honoured to be in partnership with the oldest, YEMKEM International, which has been in the industry for the past 40 years.

“He owns the largest (herbal medicine) production plant in Nigeria; we have been on this for over one year during which we have worked with various stakeholders in the health sector, including the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

“To the glory of God, NAFDAC gave us all the approvals last September but I insisted that the products be packaged properly.

“To the glory of God, these products have been tested, especially on thousands of COVID-19 patients, including some in positions of authority who are currently free from the pandemic.’

The Royal Majesty also disclosed that their focus is to employ 100,000 youths within the next 15 months.

Mr. Afolabi Imoukhuede, Senior Special Assistant to the President Muhammadu Buhari on Job Creation, in his goodwill message commended the Ooni on the innovation.

Several youths would be engaged productively, said he.

The presidential aide stated: “If you study the value chain associated with this innovation right from the cultivation of herbs, production, packaging and distribution, it is obvious that many jobs will be created and countless doors of opportunities opened for our youths.”

Dr. Ayeni, Chairman of YEMKEM International as well described the development as his greatest achievement in his over 40 years of practice.

The YEMKEM Chief explained that such landmark achievement was more spectacular because it is coming from Ile-Ife, the “source of mankind’’.

He said: “It was not easy, and I wish to state that the Ooni, who conceived the idea, gave us all the support, including huge sums of money.

“He has been supportive morally, financially and spiritually and I appealed to other monarchs to emulate these good virtues.”

Mr. Gbenga Adepoju, speaking on behalf of the Honourable Commissioner, Osun State Ministry of Health, pledged government’s support for the products.

The country has what it would take to solve her problems, he noted.

Adepoju, who is the Director of Public Health in the Ministry, said the Ooni’s effort at the development of a vaccine against COVID-19 was a huge addition to government’s effort.

“As we keep fighting against this common enemy, I want to implore us to keep observing the COVID-19 protocols, including wearing of nose masks, observing social distancing and maintaining personal hygiene.”

Mr. Jimoh Abubakar, Director of Public Affairs, representing the NAFDAC Director-General, also commended the fatherly role of Ooni in ensuring that the citizenry enjoy qualitative health.

Mr. Gideon Amosun, who represented the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), who declared the organisation’s support for the innovation, applauded the frontline African monarch over the medical breakthrough.

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