The Arole Oduduwa and the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, on Tuesday held a world press conference in commemoration of the annual African Traditional Medicine Day, at his Ile Oodua Palace, Ile-Ife.
The African Traditional Medicine Day is commemorated on 31st of August, every year.
Addressing newsmen after a brief introduction by his Director of Media and Public Affairs, Comrade Moses Olafare, Ooni Ogunwusi, who is the spiritual leader of the prestigious Yoruba race, described African traditional medicine as a major inheritance of the black people, which is capable of solving all medical, spiritual and other problems.
The foremost monarch, who called on Nigerians, particularly sons and daughters of Oduduwa, to join in the promotion of African traditional medicine, added that herbs and roots are of unbeatable efficacy globally.
He said, “Recently, as part of my COVID-19 response, promising traditional therapies have emerged and are still emerging. The Ministry of Health, through NAFDAC, has approved over 40 herbal products for the management of symptoms of COVID-19 and immune boosters. Traditional health practitioners are at the forefront in COVID-19 preventive measures, management of symptoms of COVID-19 and referral of patients for timely care. With COVID-19, there has been improved awareness of the values of traditional medicine.
“There is a great need to invest more on research and development in traditional medicine; as this will contribute to harnessing home grown solutions to improve the well being of people in all parts of the world. Major pharmaceutical companies have produced herbal remedies and are looking for new active ingredients. Having the right partnership and investments, African traditional medicines would find broader global markets. The World Health Organization, WHO, and other multilateral organizations are supporting capacity development in the traditional medicine sector and the development of local manufacturing.
“The progress achieved in the second decade of African traditional medicine include development of policy framework in eight African countries, community mobilization aimed at raising awareness on the value of traditional medicine and building capacities of researchers, traditional health practitioners and regulatory authorities, through training in partnership with WHO and Centre for Disease Control. Last year, a regional expert advisory committee for COVID-19 was launched. The objective was to accelerate the pace of research by supporting countries to collaborate on clinical trials of traditional medicine in line with international standards.
“As a great custodian of African tradition, l responded to the COVID-19 preventive measures by building locally fabricated fumigator, which uses the fog method of dispensing the disinfectant to disinfect the environment. I donated two fumigators each to the 36 states in Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja. In addition, I produced herbal remedies; Verozil to boost immunity and manage symptoms of viral infections, especially COVID-19, and Rio Bitter Leaf to boost immunity and detoxify the body. These herbal drugs have been tried and tested and are among the 40 drugs registered by NAFDAC last year. I also developed an intiative, Pan African Foundation for Indigenous Medical Research and Development, PAFIMERD, which was launched during the celebration of African Traditional Medicine Day last year, August 31st, 2020.
“Objectives of the foundation are in accordance with the goal of African traditional medicine: creating a platform for promotion and growth of African traditional medicine, support conduct of research and development of traditional medicine and initiate and support policies, laws and regulations for the growth of African traditional medicine. The foundation has a memorandum of understanding with the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development, NIPRID, and is in strong collaboration with NAFDAC.”
On the level of success recorded through his advocacy over the years, Ooni Ogunwusi lauded the Federal Government for approving the Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Bill 2020 for onward transmission to the National Assembly and speedy passage to law.
The Ojaja II added, “We are waiting for the last process of making the important bill, which has scaled through the first and second reading in the parliament; a law in Nigeria for the betterment of all.”