The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has given reasons why it has not approved any herbal medicine for the treatment of COVID-19.
The agency resident Media Consultant, Mr. Olusayo Akintola, issued in a signed statement on Sunday, in Abuja. The statement quoted Prof Moji Adeyeye, NAFDAC Director-General, saying that “No single drug has been found yet to cure COVID -19.”
She said that medicinal products available now could only help ease symptoms and up the odds of survival.
“Any product without NAFDAC approval for the cure of COVID-19 is null and void, such an act was a violation of the national regulatory authorities and a breach of protocols.
“If it is not documented, it cannot be recognised by NAFDAC for COVID – 19. They work on our cells to keep people healthier, but not to cure COVID – 19. They help our body to function better. There is no cure for COVID -19 yet.
“They may boost the immunity and the person may not be easily susceptible to infection, even with that, you still have to protect yourself,” she said.
Adeyeye also warned Nigerian researchers and other herbal medicine practitioners to desist from parading unverified medicine for the virus.
She also warned against excessive consumption of onions and garlic with a view to curing COVID-19.
“If you eat garlic and onion and you don’t use a face mask, you will get COVID -19. If you are in a bad environment, if you don’t wash your hands, you will get COVID -19.
“Nobody should say that this one can cure this or that without going through NAFDAC listing process, the research into herbal medicine by the academia is normal,” Adeyeye said.
It is now for the academia to also recognise the national regulatory authority established to safeguard the safety of the Nigerian populace, by ensuring that the product that they are working on has to go through NAFDAC.
She recalled that NAFDAC set up a herbal medicine product committee in March 2019 before the pandemic broke out, to advance research in herbal medicine.
The goal for such an idea was to make sure that the herbalist and the researcher were collaborating, so that whatever the herbalist knows from ancestral history that the research will back it up.
She explained further that collaboration with the researcher would enable such herbal medicine to be advanced and to be listed by NAFDAC if found safe for consumption.