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Experts urge Nigeria, Africans to value, prioritise local production of virus vaccines, others

Research in Traditional Medicine Photo: TheConversation.Com

*Nigerian Professor Toyin Falola of the University of Texas at Austin has expressed his opposition to the idea of referring to African traditional medicine as ‘alternative medicine’

*NAPPSA, PSN assure Nigerian Government of continued support for efforts at containing the damaging novel Coronavirus while evolving a robust pharmaceutical manufacturing industry

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

In underscoring the crucial importance of valuing natural resources with which every human community is endowed by the Creator to feed and take care of itself, Toyin Falola, a Nigerian professor and Chair of History and Humanities at the University of Texas at Austin, United States (US), has said Africans should be proud of what they have and stop degrading their natural resources.

The don expressed his opposition to the idea of referring to traditional medicine as ‘alternative medicine, saying every community was endowed with the resources to feed and take care of itself, The Punch report said.

The professor stated this Saturday, November 28 at a virtual conference to celebrate the works of Prof. Nimi Wariboko, an academic and author, who is the Walter G. Muelder Professor of Social Ethics at Boston University, US.

The event was attended by over 40 scholars from different countries who made different presentations to celebrate the author.

Regarding the need for Africans to celebrate what they have in diverse fields of human endeavour, Falola opined that, “I have never been persuaded that we should call it (herbs) traditional medicine; I mean the terminology.

“I’m also not persuaded that we should call it alternative medicine because it’s not an alternative medicine.

Western Medicine (Vaccine) for COVID-19

It is western medicine that is alternative; and if you interrogate many of these things carefully, these are herbal medicines with efficacy. Most medicines are based on plants, he stated.

He added: “My colleague wrote a book on six African plants that western pharmaceutical companies converted into tablets and they resell back to you (Africans). “There are many drugs being sold now that are traditional, but they have been given alternative names.”

Prof. Daniel Shishima, also a lecturer, suggested that traditional medicine should be documented and integrated with modern medicine for holistic healthcare for the people.

ConsumerConnect recalls that the Nigerian Association of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists in the Americas (NAPPSA) recently urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to prioritise indigenous production of vaccines for COVID-19 and other diseases.

Dr. Anthony Ikeme, President of NAPPSA, gave the charge to the authorities at the 93rd annual conference of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), held in Osogbo, the Osun State capital.

The medical professional, at the event with the theme, “Technological Revolution: Adaptation in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, Pharmacy Practice, and Regulation”, emphasised that for Nigeria to be reckoned with globally, its pharmaceutical sector must be amenable to the latest technologies.

Ikeme assured of the continued support of NAPPSA for efforts at containing the damaging novel Coronavirus while evolving a robust and functional pharmaceutical manufacturing industry in the country.

Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, President of PSN President, who spoke on the theme of the conference in Osogbo, said: “We want to expose ourselves to the possibilities of what technology can do.

“It would not only fill knowledge gaps but also put life-transforming tools in the hands of the healthcare-seeking Nigerians.”

In the meantime, the leadership of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has joined others in celebrating Dr. Onyema Ogbuagbu, a Nigerian-born researcher, for his role in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine in the US.

Prof. Innocent Ujah, President of NMA, in a media chat said: “This is a vindication that Nigerian doctors are well-trained. It shows they are committed.

“It shows they are focused on. But unfortunately, they are not valued here. This is why many Nigerian doctors are travelling out of the country.

“The achievement is not just for the NMA but his family, Nigeria, and Africa. The government should recognise that the young man has made the country proud.

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