FG pledges to promote herbal medicine

The Federal Government has expressed its readiness to promote practice of herbal medicine according to international best practices and standards, in order to cure ailments within such purvey. This was disclosed on Tuesday by the Director General of the National Institute of Pharmaceuticals Research and Development (NIPRD), Dr. Obi Adigwe, during his tour of some facilities in Imo State.

The institute, the DG said, would partner with the management of the STK Biotech Limited, located at Umoba, Uratta, Owerri North Local Government Area, in their commitment in manufacturing standard herbal supplement from plant extracts for the treatment of diseases. The DG expressed happiness that the company met all the international standards in production and research of herbal medicine.

His words: “There are indeed a lot of potentials in what they are doing here. I am impressed that they are able to transform what they had carried out in research into finished and useful products. It is a good beginning. The concept is quite encouraging in spite of the many challenging confronting you.

“My coming here and seeing what you are doing is a major step in coming to Abuja and Addis Ababa (African Union) headquarters for certification. We will see what to do to encourage you.”He urged the STK Biotech to have the bent of Anglo and Francophone West African countries in printing the literature and fliers of the herbal supplement by printing them in English and French to enable people of both countries understand in order patronize the medicine.

Briefing the DG, the Chairman of STK Biotech Limited, Stanley Ukaga, said that they had been researching for years, establishing partnership with Phytobiotechnology Research Laboratories in Cameroon and Science Medicine Research Institute, the United States.He urged Nigerian government to fully support development of drugs from the herbs, saying: “Cultivation of mushrooms especially edible mushrooms for food, source of revenue as well as for medicinal purposes is very crucial to the Nigerian populace.

“We have succeeded in the cultivation of edible indigenous tropical mushrooms on different agricultural wastes for food and medicine. We have also put in place the facility to cultivate mushrooms to have ever-ready source and reduce our dependence on sourcing it from elsewhere beyond our shores.”

Ukaga, listed numerous challenges confronting the company ranging from the delays by the regulators in reaching for assessment, power supply, sourcing of raw materials locally, recruitment of dedicated manpower to government’s financial support.

In his speech, the Chief Operating Officer of STK Biotech, Prof. Kenneth Yongabi Anchang, a Professor of Public Health and Infectiology, Imo State University, Owerri (IMSU), said the herbal company is “continuously identifying, testing and tagging plants as part of the development of a medicinal research garden”, noting that the result of the over 10 years effort had been encouraging.

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