Eminent Professor of Pharmacognosy, Professor Maurice Iwu, has said that collaboration between herbal and orthodox medicine practitioners at the national, continental and global levels, is key to the development of a cure for the coronavirus, otherwise called COVID-19.
Professor Iwu, a former National Chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said this at the 11th Edition of the premier All African Congress of Herbal Medicinal Products and Nutraceuticals on Tuesday, November 10, 2020.
The theme of the Congress was: Herbal Medicine and Dietary Supplements for the Treatment of COVID-19. Eminent scientists and practitioners of herbal and orthodox medicine from across the world participated in the program which also had as sub themes: COVID-19: Challenges for Modern Medicine;
IHP Detox: A Nigerian Herbal Medicine for the Treatment of COVID-19;
Immunotherapy in the Management of Viral Infections; and
“Artemisinin” as Possible Therapy in COVID-19.
Iwu, who is also the founder of Bioresources Development Group, which organised the Congress, said that the sort of networking he is advocating would yield faster results and benefit humanity.
He commended the ongoing collaboration with Mateon Therapeutics of the United States of America and pledged participation in the efforts of Asili Research Alliance, noting that there must be harmonization of global efforts at development of a cure for coronavirus.
The internationally renowned Professor of Pharmacognosy equally commended Nigeria’s National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, for playing the roles expected of it, stressing that there is need for a strong regulatory body that would ensure that all products are safe for consumption , appealing, however, that the agency should be a bit faster in its processes.
Insisting that herbal medicines have many positive advantages, Professor Iwu stressed that, notwithstanding, there is need for standardization.
The presentations by Professors Isa Marte Hussaini, Olukemi Abiodun Odukoya and Martins Emeje as well as those by Dr. Vuong Trieu, Saran Saund, Terra Reneau, Dr. G.Eleje and Dr. Michel Tchimene, expectedly, centered on the theme or sub-themes of the Congress.
The characteristics of COVID-19, preventive measures and herbal as well as orthodox medicines already being used for the management of the disease as well as immune boosting plants and vitamins were outlined by the speakers.
Reneau, Trieu and Saund brought the international flavor into the exciting presentations with Reneau inviting participants to be part of the global project at Asili Research Alliance whose goals are to represent non-western medical perspectives, shift perspectives on herbal medicine within modernity and increase authorship inclusivity.
Trieu, the Chairman/CEO of Mateon Therapeutics and Saund, the Chief Business Officer of the San Francisco-based company gave vivid insights into the efforts being made by their organization to develop a cure that would be cost effective and wholesome.
Saund, specifically, encouraged a blend of ancient wisdom, represented by herbal medicine with the precision of science, restating the position of his CEO that they are already carrying out global trials of their developed medicine for COVID-19 in India, which have been successful so far, and that the trials would soon begin in Nigeria and Peru.
Video and scientific presentations of the IHP range of products by the Bioresources Group , which have already been certified by NAFDAC were done during the program and their efficacy in the management of COVID-19 were guaranteed.
It was confirmed that the plant materials for the IHP range of products are organically cultivated without pesticides, fertilizers etc.
It was generally agreed that some progress has been made in the efforts to evolve herbal remedies for the management, and eventually, the treatment of COVID-19, but that every effort must be made to advance on the gains already made, with collaboration to combine the best of both worlds, herbal and orthodox, to move forward to the ideal of the development of the cure for the coronavirus.
Chinyere Douglas of the Bioresources Development Group gave a vote of thanks to round off the very informative Congress, for which 350 people registered and which had active attendees of about 169 at some point.
The fruits from the scientific feast, it was agreed, would soon begin to be evident.