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NAFDAC canvasses for more support for herbal medicine development



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The Director-general of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has advocated for more support and funding for herbal medicine.

The call was made in a statement signed by the Director-General (DG) of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, which was obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.

The statement said that the DG made the call at an inaugural symposium and launching of the Africa Centre of Excellence for Drug Research, Herbal Medicine Development and Regulatory Science (ACEDHARS) at the University of Lagos.

Its theme was “Drug Development from African Medicinal Plants: Opportunities, Challenges and Regulatory Approach”.
Adeyeye said that the support for research by way of funding and development of herbal medicine would help to meet the desire for universal health coverage for all.

Adeyeye said that investment in herbal medicine research and development would positively impact the economy of the pharmaceutical and traditional medicine industry.

According to her, herbal medicines are very important to healthcare delivery and can contribute significantly to universal health coverage in the country.

“Despite the widespread use, traditional medicines have not yet been integrated into the national healthcare system of many developing countries, including Nigeria.

“The increasing use of herbal medicine despite general lack of research on some of these products is a call for concern.

“Investment in herbal medicine research and development is needed from all stakeholders, including the government, so we can benefit from whatever God has given to us freely,” she said.

Adeyeye said that ACEDHARS is very important to Nigeria because of the focus on the development of herbal medicine for the use of the people.

The DG said that the centre would function to ensure that adequate research was conducted and clinical trials done on herbal products before usage.

According to her, some herbal medicines get to the market without adequate research and clinical trials to confirm their safety and efficacy.

Adeyeye advised herbal medicine practitioners to take advantage of the centre to increase their knowledge in the practice, saying that herbal practitioners must have continued education, even where they had it before.

She said that the centre would be of immense benefit to those who don’t have knowledge in the practice which would as well expand their horizon.

She also called on those who don’t have the knowledge to embrace the programme in order to acquire basic education requirements to practice.

The statement also quoted Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, as saying said that there is the need to tap into the indigenous knowledge of herbal practitioners. Ogundipe was represented at the event by Prof. Obinna Chukwu, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Management Services.

Ogundipe described the symposium as timely in examining the challenges, opportunities as well as regulatory approach for drug development from Africa medicinal plants.

“We must appreciate the fact that the herbal medicines we have are quite efficacious and there is the need for us to tap into the indigenous knowledge.

“Some herbal medicine are quite useful in addressing a number of ailments but the problem is that some of these medicines had been seen as a cure for all ailments which the Yorubas call “gbogbo nise”.

”The issue of quality control, proper identification of medicinal plants, standardisation of active ingredients and chemical compounds in herbal medicine need to be addressed.

“We are also looking forward to a period where modern technology will be applied in herbal medicine research,” he said.

Also in an address Omobolanle Ade-Ademilua, Director/Centre Leader, said ACEDHARS, which was a World Bank approved centre of excellence, was established to train skilled manpower.

Ade-Ademilua said the training includes quality assurance, standardisation of dosages, reproducibility of herbal preparations and safety monitoring of drugs in West and Central African region.

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Niger Assembly moves to tackle drug abuse, hawking of fake drugs




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The Speaker of the Niger state House of Assembly, Abdulmalik Sarkindaji has indicated that the Assembly is at the verge of promulgating a law that will curb the circulation and proliferation of fake drugs in markets and substance abuse among the people especially the youths.
The Speaker pointed out that the proliferation of fake and substandard drugs in the market calls for urgent attention adding that the 10th Assembly will do everything possible to minimize the trend.
The Speaker spoke on Monday after he led members of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigerian (PSN) on a 4.5km road walk to mark World Pharmacists Day in Minna, the Niger state capital.
He said, “These problems of fake drugs and drug abuse will soon become a thing of the past in the state. As you know, we have a professional pharmacist as a member of the 10th Assembly. “We are in the process of promulgating appropriate legislation to tackle these problems. I can assure the people that in no distance time, we will start moving motions and passing laws to curb this menace”.
He decried the increasing rate of fake drug hawkers who have been pouring into markets and selling fake drugs to people especially in rural communities.
He added saying,
“The Assembly will continue to collaborate with the Pharmacists Society of Nigeria (PSN) in the fight against fake drugs and abuse”.
He called on professional Pharmacists in Niger state to remain dedicated to the duties and adhere to ethics of the profession for the benefit of the people.
Also speaking , the Chairman of PSN in Niger state, Pharmacist Yakubu Maji Isah appealed to residents of the state to avoid irresponsible self medication, adding that ” people should stop patronizing street hawkers of drugs, that peddle fake drugs which are killers”.
He pointed out that the society is ready to collaborate with the state lawmakers to eradicate the menace of drug abuse and proliferation of fake drugs in the state.

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Outbreak: Diphtheria Kills 520 Children in Kano- DG Primary Healthcare Agency




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From: Ahmed Rufa’i, Dutse

Diphtheria outbreak in Kano has claimed not less than 520 children the Director General primary healthcare development agency in the state, Muhammad Nasir Muhammad has disclosed

The DG of the agency made the disclosure in a key note address presented at a one day orientation for media practitioners on Diphtheria Outbreak drawn from JIgawa, Kano, Katsina and Sokoto states.

The director general attributed the situation to poor rotten immunisation made with high number of zero doses among the children in the state.

Dr Muhammad decried the shortage of diphtheria vaccine in the states, Kano in particular with about 8,000 confirmed cases representing 80 percent cases.

According to him “The state recieved 200,000 dosage of vaccine and less than one million doses after the outbreak of the disease. But according to our findings we need over 6 million children to be vaccinated”.

He called on the federal government and partners to do something urgently for the speed and effective control, “I use this opportunity to appreciate UNICEF for their commitment on emergency response support”.

Speaking earlier the Chief of UNICEF Field Office in Kano Mr. Rahama R Mohammed Farah described the current Diphtheria Outbreak as a threat to child survival, health and the well-being of children

Mr Farah noted that “It is very important to understand that the Analysis of the vaccination status of the suspected cases shows that 60.8% of all suspected cases are children who were not

“As of last week, over 400 suspected cases with 11 deaths have been reported in Kano state.
Eight LGAs are the most affected: They are Ungogo (2651), Dala (989), Fagge (943), Gwale (714), Kumbotso (713), Nassarawa (538), Kano Municipal (506) and
Tarauni (269)”.

He disclosed that “UNICEF is therefore collaborating with government and partners to respond to the emergency to save lives of children affected”.

According to him, the Kano field office hss been giving support to the Diphtheria Response since the first case of the Diphtheria disease in December 2022, “UNICEF has been working with government and partners to respond to the emergency”.

“UNICEF has been and continue to support the diphtheria response in Nigeria focusing on providing technical and financial support to the government in all affected states including Kano state to implement the Diphtheria outbreak response”, Farah emphasis”.

He indicated that the outbreak needs to be urgently stopped, controlled and prevented from spreading, “last week, UNICEF delivered 1.2 million vaccines to the Kano State government in our continuing support to the government for response to the Diphtheria outbreak as Diphtheria is a highly contagious, infectious disease that can cause death”.

“The media has a key role to play particularly in infection prevention and risk communication and community engagement; You will need to educate the public and increasing the awareness of parents, and communities on the disease and the outbreak, on the importance of immunization and what parents need to do in case
of suspected cases and how to prevent infection from further spreading”, UNICEF said.

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Well-being of individuals crucial for productivity in work place – IPCR DG




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***Urges Staff to take adequate care of their mental health

The Director General of the Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Dr. Joseph Ochogwu has indicated that the well-being of individual workman is key to productivity in the work place.

Speaking at a Health Talk session titled, “Mental Health/Emotional Intelligence,” Dr. Ochogwu urged staff of the Institute to take proper care of their mental issues.

Ochogwu pointed out that the Individual’s well-being is key to productivity in the work place.
“We need that state of mental health balance to overcome challenges.
“Things are not getting easy now, we need unique kind of skill in balancing our individual’s well-being because if you don’t balance your individual’s well-being even your family’s well-being will suffer.”

Addressing staff of the Institute, the resource person of the programme and founder of Secure D Future International Initiative, Dr. Sa’adatu Adamu, also urged staff to take care of their health.

Dr. Adamu noted that while about 970 million people are struggling with mental health worldwide, 284 million people are struggling with anxiety.

She noted that positive thinking reflect on the psychological being of an individual, adding that negative thoughts are dangerous to one’s wellbeing.

She also told the staff that it is important that each individual takes care of himself and controls what comes into his mind, adding that when somebody dwells so much on the negative, such a person is taking a destructive part.

The expert noted that depression, one of the major metal health challenges affects so many people, advising the staff to fill their minds with positive thoughts at all time, in other to live above depression and other associated challenges.

She said that it is estimated that about 40.3 percent of people died worldwide because of mental health, adding that in this part of the world, “we are still struggling to understand mental health.”

Listing the negative effects associated with depression, Dr. Adamu indicated that the estimate of people going through mental health is higher in the country.

The mental health expert, who noted that things are difficult in the country, warned the staff not to allow their minds to dwell on what they couldn’t control, urging them to think positively and take things the way they come.

According to her, dwelling on what one can not control only makes things worse and at the end depression sets in.

She noted that the last stage of depression is when one begins to think of committing suicide, adding, “mental health is something everyone should pay attention to.”

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