Why we didn’t approve herbal medicine for COVID-19 treatment- NAFDAC
By Gistflash News
July 18, 2021
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has given reasons why it has yet to approve any herbal medicine for the treatment of COVID-19.
This is contained in a statement signed by the agency resident Media Consultant, Mr Olusayo Akintola, and issued to newsmen on Sunday, in Abuja.
The statement quoted Prof Moji Adeyeye, NAFDAC Director- General, as saying that “no single drug has been found yet to cure COVID -19”.
Adeyeye also warned Nigerians against excessive consumption of onions and garlic with a view to curing COVID-19, saying, ‘’If you eat too much your breath will be smelling and nobody will want to stay by you.”
She said that medicinal products available now could only help ease symptoms and up the odds of survival.
She warned Nigerian researchers and other herbal medicine practitioners to desist from parading unverified medicine for the virus.
She said that any product without NAFDAC approval for the cure of COVID-19 is null and void, adding that such an act was a violation of the national regulatory authorities and breach of protocols.
She admitted that onions or garlic or any of the natural fruits that we take have antioxidant and nutrients that can help us feel better, adding that people might have been using it and they get better.
“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.
She added that they may boost the immunity and the person may not be easily susceptible to infection, adding that ‘’even with that, you still have to protect yourself.
“If you eat garlic and onion and you don’t use 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.
“Everything has to be put together. University of Jos said that there was an herbal medicine, whether it is tea or whatever, that can cure COVID-19, they linked it with treatment of COVID -19, they did the packaging.
‘’We did a letter to warn them that they cannot claim something unless it has gone through our listing process. They were trying to sell it to their staff. That is violation of our own regulatory policies.
“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.
‘’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,” Adeyeye said.
According to her, there have been one or two cases where the University of Jos product was being encouraged to be used by people without going through NAFDAC.
She said that the university was supposed to go through the national regulatory authority and pave the way for NAFDAC to declare it safe for consumption.
The DG insisted that her agency must approve the clinical trial protocol, stressing that ‘’If they don’t do that and go ahead to market and sell their product, such act would be a violation of regulatory procedures.
According to her, some people might have been using it and they got better, but without being approved scientifically and documented, we may not be able to guarantee its safety for human consumption.
She recalled that NAFDAC set up an herbal medicine product committee in March 2019 before the pandemic broke out, to advance research in herbal medicine.
Adeyeye said that the goal for such 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 researcher would enable such herbal medicine to be advanced and to be listed by NAFDAC, if found safe for consumption.
According to her, during the pandemic there were lots of assertions that there were herbal medicines, that could be used to treat symptoms of COVID -19, pointing out that there was no single medicine that has been identified yet.
“But there are herbal medicines that could alleviate symptoms of COVID -19. However, NAFDAC has not granted registration of approval for any medicine for that.
“NAFDAC approves such medicines for listing, it means that it’s been tested and was deemed safe to use. NAFDAC cannot say herbal medicine can treat COVID -19, until clinical trial is done.
“Right now, there is no single herbal medicine that has gone through full clinical trial the way clinical trial is supposed to be done,” she said.
According to her, to do official clinical trial, you must write a protocol, you must pass it through the National Health Research Ethical Committee (NHREC), and you must pass it through NAFDAC.”
She said that the agency has not given any pass mark as regards COVID-19 herbal medicine, but that the agency has approved some herbal medicines that they claim can alleviate some of the symptoms of COVID -19.
She said that some of the approved herbal medicine which they claim can alleviate COVID-19 symptoms only work as immune boosters.
Adeyeye pointed out that such herbal medicine may prevent one from getting the disease, adding that, as far as NAFDAC was concerned, it has not approved any medicine to treat COVID -19.
“We have approved medicines that they said can alleviate symptoms and relieve people of some symptoms of COVID – 19, when the product is listed then clinical trial may start.
“It takes a lot of money to do clinical trial. University of Jos has been given approval to commence clinical trial of their products which is yet to commence.
The DG further disclosed that many herbal products have been submitted for federal government grants, because most of the herbal practitioners lack the required wherewithal to do clinical trial.
She said that many of these herbal products were being subjected to review by different agencies of government in the country.
“In terms of going through clinical trial and official protocols, none has come through yet.”
According to her, such herbal products can be used during the clinical trial to investigate whether it could be effective for COVID -19.
FG converts National Blood Service to commission
By Gistflash News
Sept 25, 2021
The Federal Government has established the National Blood Service Commission (NBSC) to replace the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) to coordinate, regulate and ensure the provision of safe, quality blood transfusion services.
This is contained in a statement by Abdullahi Haruna, the commission’s Head of Media and Publicity on Saturday, in Abuja.
It explained that the NBTS was formerly a unit under the Department of Hospital Services in the Federal Ministry of Health, which was passed by the National Assembly and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.
It also disclosed that Dr Omale Joseph-Amedu, the National Coordinator, would serve as the Acting Director-General of the commission in line with the provisions of the Act establishing the commission.
“Commission which has the statutory mandate to coordinate, regulate and ensure the provision of safe, quality blood transfusion services on a country- wide basis within the national health plan.
“Therefore, the commission is legally mandated to ensure proper compliance with the National Blood Service Guidelines and standards.
“It will also maintain a system of quality assurance at all levels of service, encourage research in all aspects of blood transfusion services and promote the rational use of blood, blood products and alternatives to blood where appropriate.
“The commission which takes effect immediately as National Blood Service Commission (NBSC) has communicated that its new name and status more aptly reflects the mandate of ensuring the availability of safe, quality and adequate blood services to all Nigerians,” it stated
UK donates 1.2m COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria – Envoy
By Gistflash News
Sept 25, 2021
COVID-19: 4, 680,000 Nigerians vaccinated – NPHCDA
By Gistflash News
Sept 25, 2021
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) says 4,680,000 Nigerians have so far been vaccinated against COVID-19 .
The Executive Director /Chief Executive Officer of the agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this during the South South zonal town hall meeting on COVID-19 vaccination on Saturday in Benin.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the town hall meeting was organised by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, in collaboration with NPHCDA and the Edo government.
Shuaib noted that out of the 4,680,000 million vaccinated Nigerians, about 1,865,127 were fully vaccinated with the two doses.
He stated that the figure was below the nation’s target ,adding that the threats posed by the virus could prevent the country from returning to normal living.
“I will like to encourage us to use our good offices to encourage eligible members of our community to visit the nearest designated health facility to receive the vaccine.
“All the vaccines are currently available in designated vaccination sites across the country and are safe and effective,” he said.
According to him, in the course of the next few weeks, NPHCDA plans to gradually involve the private sector as sites for COVID-19 vaccination.
Shuaib, however, disclosed that the Federal Government had set up a Joint Task Force on COVID-19 vaccine for monitoring and accountability in collaboration with the security agencies.
Earlier, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire said the town hall was organised to discuss COVID-19 vaccination, address mutual concerns and reach a consensus to ensure citizens were safe and protected against the deadly coronavirus.
Ehanire, said Nigeria had so far lost 2000 of her citizens to COVID-19, adding that the virus had also affected the nation’s GDP.
According to him ,the government needs to vaccinate 70 per cent of the population to effectively curb the spread of the virus.
“The way out off this is to get vaccinated because those who have taken the vaccine have full protection while the unvaccinated are exposed to danger,” he said
He disclosed that the Federal Government was working with the private sector for the production of vaccine in the country.
According to the minister, records have shown that over 90 per cent of deaths recorded from COVID-19 are from unvaccinated persons.
Also speaking, Gov. Godwin Obaseki said the state had so far vaccinated over 130,000 residents against the virus.
Represented by his Chief of Staff, Osaigbovo Iyokha, Obaseki said the state target was to vaccinate 60 per cent of the population.
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