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Iwu presents plant-based ‘cure’ for COVID-19 to science ministry

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A team of researchers led by professor of Pharmacognosy from the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), Maurice Iwu yesterday presented a plant-based patented treatment for COVID-19 to the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu.

Iwu, who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bioresources Development Group (BDG), presented the cure to Onu in the presence of Minister of State for Health, Adeleke Olurunnimbe Mamora, Minister of State for Science and Technology, Mohammed H. Abdullahi and Permanent Secretary of the ministry Dr Mohammed Bello.

Iwu had told The Guardian, “I will be meeting with the Minister of Science and Technology in Abuja to make a presentation of the patented cure. We got a patent since 2015, shortly after the Ebola outbreak in Nigeria for SARS Coronavirus, which is deadlier than COVID-19.”

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Severely Active Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Coronavirus (SARS Cov-1) is a more lethal form of SARS Cov-2 (COVID-19), which is the newly detected form.

An outbreak caused by a new human Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) was first detected in Wuhan in December 2019 and has since spread through China to other countries.

Iwu told the ministers that it was important to note that COVID-19 belongs to a class of viruses that are very common, some more serious than others, the class includes the flu virus, SARS, and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

He explained that they are Ribo Nucleic Acid (RNA) viruses, which allow them to mutate easily and spread between species. Iwu insisted that SARS and MERS Coronaviruses are more lethal than COVID-19.

He said while the Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and healthcare professionals are actively engaged in providing treatment and support for the management of the Coronavirus infection, it is important to indicate that the Nigerian scientific community are making contributions towards finding a sustainable treatment for the prevention and/or treatment of COVID-19 as part of drug discovery programme for neglected tropical diseases, emergent infections and orphan diseases.

Iwu pleaded with the Minister to use his good office to kindly appeal to Nigerians for their support.

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Iwu is widely known for his bitter kola-based ‘cure’ for Ebola, which he told The Guardian in 2014 that he made the discovery when he was working as a Senior Research Associate at the Division of Experimental Therapeutics of Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington D.C., United States.

He had explained: “Bitter kola (Garcinia kola), a plant, commonly eaten in West Africa, has been found to halt the deadly Ebola virus in its tracks in laboratory tests.

He said: “If repeated in humans, this would give the body a chance to fight off the virus. We used a compound from Garcinia kola, a plant. Compounds from the plant have also proved effective against some strains of flu.

“If the anti-Ebola compound proves successful in animal and human trials, it will be the first medicine to successfully treat the virus that causes Ebola haemorrhagic fever, an often-fatal condition.

“The discovery was first announced at the 16th International Botanical Congress in St Louis in the United States of America in 1999.”

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