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Experts task herbalists on development of plant vaccine

By Michael Egbejule, Benin City
30 June 2022   |   2:43 am
Experts from various Nigerian universities and research institutes, yesterday, called for the integration of ideas from both orthodox and herbal medicine practitioners towards developing plant vaccine

Experts from various Nigerian universities and research institutes, yesterday, called for the integration of ideas from both orthodox and herbal medicine practitioners towards developing plant vaccines to make Africa and Nigeria a leading destination for medicinal plant research and development.

The call was made during the Colbas Pax Herbal second international conference with the topic, “Africa Medicinal Plants: Issues and Prospects in Management of Diseases in the 21st Century,” held at Glorious Vision University, Ogwa, Edo State in collaboration with Pax Herbal Clinic and Research Laboratories, Ewu, Edo State.

Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Babatunde Idowu, welcomed participants to the conference and in his speech, the Acting Dean, College of Basic and Applied Sciences of the university, Dr Kingsley Enerijiofi, said the theme was apt, considering the reawakened interest in pharmaceutical use of plant-based products.

Rev. Fr. Anslem Adodo, Director, Pax Herbal Clinic and Research Laboratories, Ewu, in his address, said the collaboration was expected to continue beyond conferences.

In his keynote address, Prof. Babatunde Salako, Director General/CEO, Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos, whose paper was titled: ‘Western Allopathic Medicine and Traditional African Medicine: Any Hope for Synergy,’ and presented by Dr. Aina Oluwagbemiga, said there was a need for synergy of Western Allopathic Medicine and Traditional African Medicine and the need for collaboration between Nigerian universities and their western counterparts.

Edo State Commissioner for Science and Technology, Dr. Bartholomew Brain, said the state government is committed to innovation and technology and will be collaborating with the university.

MEANWHILE, Edo State Government has intensified interventions to address endemic Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), especially Onchocerciasis, Soil-transmitted helminths and Lymphatic Filariasis, in eight councils across the state.

The Executive Secretary, Edo State Primary Health Care Development Agency (EDSPHCDA), Dr. Otaniyenuwa Eloghosa Obarisiagbon, said: “As part of the Governor Godwin Obaseki reforms to improve the delivery of quality healthcare, the agency is partnering with Carter Centre to ensure Edo achieves reasonable control in record time.”

On her part, Edo State NTD Coordinator, Mrs. Happy Poko, noted that in addressing NTD, it is necessary to reduce morbidity caused by NTDs in the endemic LGAs with a view to achieving their elimination by 2025.

He said: “It is important to note that Onchocerciasis or river blindness is transmitted through repeated bites by black flies of the genus Simulium.”

Also, the Director of the Carter Centre, Edo/Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Emukah, said the centre remains committed to providing free medicines for the treatment of NTDs as they have always done in the past.

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