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NAFDAC woos herbalists, researchers over local cure for Coronavirus

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, on Thursday, indicated that Nigeria was making headway in getting local cures for Coronavirus.

The PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, stated this at the task force press conference, in Abuja.

He said the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Department of the Federal Ministry of Health had forwarded some of the claims for COVID-19 cure to the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

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According to Mustapha, some of the claims for COVID-19 cures have met preliminary requirements but that NAFDAC would evaluate them for listing.

Also on Thursday, NAFDAC met with alternative medical practitioners and researchers on the listing of herbal medicines for COVID-19 treatment.

According to the agenda of the meeting, issues such as COVID-19 and herbal medicines as well as NAFDAC food and chemical laboratory testing were discussed.

There were indications also Thursday that the Federal Ministry of Health had directed NAFDAC to carry out necessary procedures for the assessment of a plant-based cough mixture to treat COVID-19 patients.

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Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mashi Abdullahi, issued the directive in a memo with reference TCAM/077/I/65, addressed to the Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye.

The document, dated April 28, 2020, was titled, ‘Formulation of a Phyto-Medicine-Based Cough Mixture/Syrup for the Management of COVID-19 Patients by Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine Department of the Ministry’.

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, on Wednesday, said the local medicines in Nigeria had not been tested and could be poisonous.