Monday, 25th September 2023

NNMDA urges government to explore natural medicine to improve quality of life, economy

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze, Abuja
24 March 2022   |   2:47 am
The Director-General of the Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA), Dr. Samuel Etatuvie, has stressed the need for the government to explore and exploit the value chains

Director-General/ Chief Executive of NNMDA, Dr. Samuel Oghene Etatuvie PHOTO: Twitter

The Director-General of the Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA), Dr. Samuel Etatuvie, has stressed the need for the government to explore and exploit the value chains of natural medicine knowledge for the improvement of the quality of life of the people and national economic growth.

Speaking at the NNMDA special day at the Science Technology and Innovation Expo 2022 in Abuja, Etatuvie said natural medicine has huge benefits and utility to the people and if properly harnessed, can improve the economy, assist the health systems and provide employment to the youths.

He noted that natural medicine knowledge with its associated bioresources is a strategic sector for the overall development of the country, starting from the natural improvement of health, simulation of small and medium scale agro-business, small scale product industries in health, raw materials and a feedstock to the global knowledge economy in research and product development.

Etatuvie explained that the resources of natural medicine are of particular interest due to the fact that at each point, their value chains constitute a major feedstock to economic activities, adding that natural medicine is our heritage, and hope for a healthier future.

He noted that a lot of challenges are impeding the development of the sector such as near absence of documentation of practice outcomes and bio-resources, the issues of secrecy and fear of loss of intellectual property and benefit-sharing, the needed clinical research data to validate traditional medicine knowledge products and technology necessary to transform these resources into innovative and commercialisable products with wide acceptance by clinicians and the public.

Etatuvie observed that NNMDA in its bid to pursue its mandate to research, develop and promote Nigeria’s natural medicine has through various research, produced simple, safe, quality and affordable natural products for the prevention and management of various diseases affecting our people and livestock, like Amarus Herbal Tea for prevention and management of malaria, herbal mosquito repellant, Dual Action indoor residual spray and air freshener formulated as an insecticide and air freshener, as well as Ocimum Herbal Tea for management of diabetes among others.

He stated that following the approval to resuscitate the agency’s College of Natural Medicine and Technology, NNMDA has been working with the National Board for Technical Education for accreditation as National Innovation Diploma (NID) in Natural Medicine Technology (NMT) in Nigeria.

Etatuvie said that the agency is well-positioned to play its strategic role in ensuring that the country maximises the huge potential of the natural medicine sector of the nation’s economy.

He said traditional medicine is the best thing that happened to mankind and has remained one of the pillars of our health and economic development, adding that government is interested in developing the sector.

Also speaking, Board Chairman of NNMDA, Hon Victor Terah-Patrick, said natural medicine is very critical in improving the health of the people, while its value chains can spur economic growth.

He observed that Nigeria is well endowed with the traditional medical knowledge, the bio-resources and the requisite expertise that can be used to convert these resources and stressed the need to work as a team to see how we can put Nigeria on the map of traditional medicine with more value.

The Board Chairman noted that the federal government has demonstrated its commitment to the development of the sector by assenting to the Bill establishing the agency adding that the Board will pursue a government development plan for the sector with vigour to contribute to the improvement of quality of life of our people.