By Bisi Olominu
The University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, UNIMED, is working hard to rake in trillions of Naira for the country through herbal medicine.
The Director of Policy and Projects Management of the University, Prof. Adeduro Adegeye who revealed this in an exclusive interview with The Hope insisted that the institution is equal to the task and has already packaged some herbs into capsules now on shelves in various pharmaceutical shops .
He stated that drugs developed by the institution can be used to treat diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, dementia, insomnia and ulcer.
He added that the university had acquired five hectares of land where herbs will be planted in Bolorunduro, Ondo East Local government area.
Adegeye said with the dwindling in the price of petroleum at the world market, it has become necessary for the country to exploit the potential of herbal medicine in which countries like India, China, USA are today raking in trillions of dollars.
He said the government does not need a soothsayer to tell it to diversify her economy to money spinning venture like production of plants that abound in the country and turning them into herbal drugs and capsules for the benefit of Nigerians.
According to him, ” With the cost of orthodox medicine going beyond the reach and medical doctors’ inability to cope with the influx of patients in various hospitals, and malaria drugs becoming resistant to malaria, the future is the development of herbal medicine which is cost effective and can cure every disease.
“Again, with poverty ravaging our land and people dying of preventable diseases, there’s the need to develop this area of medicine which is a multi billion naira venture. Even countries like India, China, USA and others are making fortunes out of herbal medicine.
“At UNIMED, we are the first University to establish Centre for herbal medicine and drug productions in Nigeria and third in Africa. The essence is to make our students, the doctors to appreciate herbal medicine, develop it like it is being done in India, China, Germany, and today they are countries to be reckoned with in herbal medicine.
“What they are doing in these countries can be replicated in Nigeria and UNIMED is equal to the task for we have these herbs in abundance in Nigeria. So, we want our students to focus on this aspect, appreciate herbal medicine. We are not training our medical students like it is being done in University of Ibadan, UNILAG and other universities, but we are making them to see that grass and other herbs that are plenty in the state can be used effectively to treat any disease.
You must know that in some developed world that embraced herbal medicine, they place it side by side with Orthodox medicine and many are choose herbal medicine because of its effectiveness. What India has achieved with herbal medicine in the last 10 years and trillions raked in by the country is our focus in this university. We want to make the university unique and self sustainable, and we believe that the university in the next five to 10 years, we will be able to pay our workers.
According to him, ”the American Botanical Council, refers to using a plant’s seeds, berries, roots, leaves, bark, or flowers for medicinal purposes. Also known as complementary and alternative medicine, herbs are classified as drugs and are regulated in some countries in Europe, especially in Germany, where an expert medical panel, actively researches their safety and effectiveness.
Adegeye called on government to embrace this alternative medicine and see to it that herbal medicine share same markets with Orthodox medicine in the country.