Towards evidence-based African herbal medicine

herbalTHE Director of Pax Herbal Clinic and Research Laboratories (PAXHERBALS), Fr. Anselm Adodo, has said that African medicine is moving towards clinical medicine.

Adodo at the 7th National congress of Pax health care providers, an association of all distributors, agents and scientists of PAXHERBALS held, last week, in Uromi, Edo State, said that the era of describing African traditional medicine as fetish and pagan has gone.

He lamented that “while countries like China and India have already invaded the global herbal market like a colossus, Nigeria is still busy discussing whether herbal medicine is a good source of healthcare or not. “While the annual global market for herbal medicine is estimated to be over 100 billion dollars, Nigerian professionals are busy attending seminars to convince them of the efficacy of herbal medicine, while other are standing by the ringside complaining about charlatans,” Adodo said. He enjoined all members of the scientific community to join hand together in developing African herbal medicine.

Director-General of the Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA), Sam Etatuvie, lauded the efforts and determination of PAXHERBALS to open up new frontiers in herbal medicine research, and pledged that his agency will collaborate with PAXHERBALS in working out a model of clinical trials of PAX herbal products and other Nigerian herbal products in line with international regulations.

Chief Medical Director of Irrua specialist Teaching Hospital, Dr. S.A. Okogbenin, who was represented by Dr. Peter Akhinor, expressed delight that PAXHERBALS is not just an herbal medicine manufacturer but a full-blown research institute that is ready and willing to move towards clinical research and scientific verification of the claims of its herbal products.

Akhinor, in his remarks as the chairman of a committee set up the the Irrua Specialist Teaching hospital to discuss clinical collaboration with PAXHERBALS, said that he was initially skeptical about the prospects of such a proposed partnership, but his doubts melted away after learning about the serious research initiatives of PAXHERBALS. He expressed satisfaction that PAXHERBALS is currently training over 38 science students from five Nigerian universities.

The Edo state commissioner of Health, Dr. Aihanuwa Eregie, who was represented by the Director of Pharmaceutical Services at the Edo State Ministry of Health, Dr. Godwin Okonofua, congratulated PAXHERBALS on their achievement in changing the face of herbal medicine in Nigeria and Africa, and encouraged them to remain steadfast in their mission.

Other speakers at the congress, which took place at Lumen Christi International high school, Uromi, in Edo State, are: Rt. Rev. Dr. Gabriel G. Dunia, the Catholic Bishop of Uromi Diocese; Prof. Bernard Aigbokhan, vice chancellor of Samuel Adegboyega University, Ogwa; Prof. Jack Aigbodion, Deputy-Vice Chancellor (academics), Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma; Prof. E. Ohenen, Head of Microbiology Department, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma; Prof. MacDonald Idu of the department of Phytomedicine, University of Benin and many others.

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