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Nigeria govt issues directive to NAFDAC to assess herbal mixture for COVID-19 treatment

The Federal Government on Friday directed the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to carry out necessary procedures for the assessment of a plant-based cough mixture as a possible treatment for COVID-19.

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The permanent secretary of the Ministry of Health, Mashi Abdullahi, confirmed this in a memo addressed to the director-general of NAFDAC, Mojisola Adeyeye.

Recall that Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health had explained that local herbs can be classified into those that can either cure COVID-19 or reduce the virus.

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However, a memo, 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 said Nigeria is blessed with medicinal plants which could be exploited.

Abdullahi stated that the formulation is a Cov-herbal cough mixture whose ingredients are medicinal plants, widely used as food materials and medicines.

According to him, the ingredients include, Allium Sativa (garlic); Allium cepa (onions); Zingiber officinale (ginger): Piper guineense (West African Black Pepper); and Adansonia digitata (baobab fruit).

The innovation here is the composition of the formulation.

He added that ‘these medicinal plants have documented scientific evidence of long use for the management of cough and other respiratory infections, with medicinal properties of mucolytic, antitussive, expectorant, soothing, demulcent, anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects.

“It is heartwarming to note that the Department of TCAM has taken the pains to research into scientific materials to come up with a formulation intended for the management of cough in COVID-19 and other cough-related infections.”

“The ministry is determined to walk the talk in the promotion and integration of herbal medicine into the health care delivery system.

“In view of the foregoing and the desire of the ministry to showcase to the public a product that is 100 per cent sourced locally, you are requested to carry out the necessary procedures for listing.

“The ministry will contract the packaging of the product to some identified pharmaceutical companies.”

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