NIGERIA – Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA) has launched a research laboratory complex and received an ISO Certification, boosting herbal medicines production in Nigeria.
This will facilitate global best practices among Nigerian Traditional Medicine Practitioners (TMPs) as well as enhance empirical data generation for academic and industrial research in the field of natural medicine.
Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora disclosed that the laboratory has been designed with state- of-the-art equipment to support research and development, improve the export potential of drug raw materials, active pharmaceutical ingredients, herbal medicines and also support the general quality health infrastructures of Nigeria.
He said that the NNMDA Laboratory Project commenced in 2017, with the aim of resolving the barrage of health challenges bedevilling most nations of the world including Nigeria.
He expressed satisfaction with the completion of the laboratory with ISO17025-2017 Certification on critical foods and drugs’ product line qualification.
Other critical purposes the research lab will serve include development of ethno medicines/herbal medicines and products; assurance of the quality and standardisation of developed herbal medicines and products.
Others include generation of the needed scientific data to show the potentials of every developed herbal medicines/products brought to the laboratory for evaluation; a platform for collaborative research from different institutions interested in ethnomedicine; and a place for the evaluation of herbal medicines/products imported into the country.
Mamora attributed the construction of the lab as one of the blessings bestowed on the nation by COVID-19, as challenges encountered during the pandemic were pointers to the development of research laboratories in the country.
Identifying diagnosis as a major problem during the pandemic, he however noted that it has been surmounted with several molecular laboratories presently established in the country.
COVID-19 pandemic was a blessing in disguise, he said, because from four molecular laboratories before COVID-19, “as of today, Nigeria now has over 120 new laboratories and that’s one of the positive things that came out of COVID-19 pandemic”.
Chairman, Governing Board, NNMDA, Pharm. (Hon.) Victor Terah Patrick, corroborated the views of Dr Mamora on the need to harness indigenous medicines to the benefits of Nigerians. He urged the staff of the agency on adequate maintenance of the facility for sustainability and efficiency.
“We must leverage global recognition and return to the use of natural medicine. Let us harness its use to prevent, manage and treat diseases and enhance health/wellness thus promoting the activities of the agency as well as generate interest and stimulate investment in natural/traditional medicine, which is our pride and heritage,” he said.
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