The Federal Government will exploit the huge plant resources available in the country for healthcare delivery and economic development of the nation.Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, gave the indication yesterday at the commissioning of a four-bedroom bungalow built for Alhaji Aliyu Giwa, a renowned herbalist in Kogi State who solves serious medical challenges.
The herbalist also got a KIA saloon car gift promised by the minister last year.According to Onu, Nigeria has enough herbs to meet its health needs and for export.“The work of genuine traditional medicine practitioners is very important both for an efficient healthcare delivery system and the promotion of economic wellbeing of the nation.
“The urgent need to build Nigeria into a great nation will require all Nigerians from all walks of life to work together for the good of all. We need every hand and every brain,” he said.He called on traditional medicine practitioners found throughout the country to protect their intellectual property by obtaining patents for their inventions and innovation. “It is also important for them to allow research to be conducted into many of their formulations, to determine the essential ingredients responsible for curing diseases.”
This, he said, will be useful in the manufacture of drugs for use both in Nigeria and other countries.“We cannot continue to depend on other countries to supply the drugs we need in our country, particularly when the raw materials are available locally.
“It is widely known and accepted that many drugs and medicines have their origin from plants,” he noted. He specifically commended Giwa for helping some sick people regain their health using local herbs.
Challenging traditional medicine practitioners nationwide to train younger people to ensure proper transfer of traditional healing knowledge and technology for the good of the country. “This will help guarantee a sustainable system that will ensure continuous deployment of herbal medicine for effective management and cure of various diseases that affect human beings.”Onu, in August last year, visited the traditional healer to ascertain the potency of his claims after an acquaintance told him how he was cured. He disclosed that after some investigations, he met with the herbalist and promised to gift him a four-bedroom bungalow and a car to ease his work.