NIMR, PaxHerbals partner to boost research in alternative medicine
Charged with the responsibility of conducting research and dissemination of research findings, the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with PaxHerbals in other to achieve the objectives of research continuum in natural drug discovery, clinical verification, observation and analysis of herbal products.
The MoU includes: Sharing of information on various medicinal plants used locally, sourcing of raw materials by the relevant sector for drug preparation and development, submission of finished products and raw materials for any phytochemical and toxicity analysis that will give valuable information for drug discovery and also to work out a format for exchange of staff for the purpose of knowledge acquisition and transfer of technology.
Moreover, PaxHerbals is engaged in the scientific identification, cultivation and utilisation of medicinal plants as well as manufacturing of phytomedicines.
Director General (DG), NIRM, Prof. Babatunde Salako, at the event in Lagos, said the essence of the MoU is to make the institute relevant and achieve its mandate by collaborating with Universities, ministries, communities and private bodies.
He mentioned that the act is to make sure herbal products are given attention in terms of research and credibility.
Salako added: “As a body, we give information to the public, we have collaborated with Council of Physicians Natural Medicine (COPNM), now PaxHerbals and both are set to lead in awareness and training in the area of herbal medicine. We share in the same goal and we are willing to help PaxHerbals look into the alternative medicine and determine its effectiveness in human and check the toxicity in animals as this MoU is set to guide our activities.”
He noted that the MoU is a milestone achieved in Nigeria because herbal medicine has been relegated to the background and has not been given proper attention.
Director, PaxHerbals, Rev. Anselm Adodo, said the World Health Organisation (WHO) has called for the integration of alternative medicine into the curriculum in school activities ensuring that traditional medicine is accepted.
He noted that it is paramount to encourage people, it is time to develop our medicine and develop specific drug for use, capable of projecting us as a serious nation and for income generation.
Adodo added: “For PaxHerbals, it is historic and a milestone on herbal medicine in Nigeria, we are inspired and encouraged. It is not just saying but to put it in practice because that is the way to move things forward. Traditional Medicine is the sum total of the knowledge, skills, and practices based on the theories, beliefs, and experiences indigenous to different cultures, whether explicable or not, used in the maintenance of health as well as in the prevention, diagnosis, improvement or treatment of physical and mental illness.”
Salako revealed that issue of inadequate funding affects the sector in the area of research, but believes that the MoU will help them to put resources together and get things done.