The Director General of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), Dr. Obi Adigwe, decried the non involvement of herbal medicine practitioners in determining critical issue concerning the development of herbal medicine in Nigeria.
Adigwe disclosed this at a three-day conference held both physically and virtually in Osogbo, Osun State, saying that the practitioners who require support in terms of investment, funding and capacity building have not been robustly and comprehensively engaged in discussions with regards to the sector’s development strategies.
The Director General noted that the conference was part of efforts by NIPRD to step up its capacity building mandate by organising a grass roots training for phytomedicinal practitioners aimed at improving access to health and stimulating socio-economic development.
According to Adigwe, what NIPRD has decided to do is to take the phytomedicines development strategy down to the grassroots.
He however said, the seven objectives the institute want to achieve is by organising the conference, increase the awareness of policy makers, political office holders, investors and development partners about the importance and potential of the phytomedicines sector.
“The second thing is that we want to build the capacity of the phytomedicinal practitioners themselves.
“We want to build their capacity, we want to teach them how to harvest plants, teach them how to document their practices, teach them the importance of research and development in their activities, teach them how to apply for NAFDAC listing, and teach them how to partner with people in terms of bringing their products forward for marketing,” explained Adigwe.
The NIPRD boss further disclosed that the institute have concluded plans to select five products from Osun state at the end of the programme that it can take to the next level.
“Products that can 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.
” NIPRD has successfully brought Research and Development to the fore of this country.
“We have also ensured that products made in Nigeria are prioritised, when it comes to manufacturing of sanitiser, production of sickle cell drugs among others.
“We have also spearheaded the articulation in policies which encourage us to look inwards, strategies that encourage development of home-grown solutions have now been brought to the fore,” explained the DG.
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