Written by Williams ABAH

Adewole inaugurates committee for review of herbal pharmacopoela

In recognition of the global upsurge in the use of herbal and traditional medicines resulting in a huge market and wealth creation, the Federal Ministry of Health has inaugurated a 16-man expert committee for the review of the first edition of the Nigeria Herbal Pharmacopoeia. 

Speaking at the inauguration in Abuja, permanent secretary of the ministry, Mr. Clement Uwaifo, said Nigeria is blessed with vast bio-diversity of different medicinal herbal species, many of which had remained untapped. 

In view of this, Uwaifo said there was need to scientifically organise information and documentation on useful medicinal herbs which were found efficacious in the management and treatment of several ailments in Nigeria. 

He further explained that the first edition of Nigeria Herbal Pharmacopoeia published with the support of World Health Organisation, WHO, in 2008, contained 42 commonly used medicinal plants in Nigeria. 

Twenty two of the cultivated plants were indigenous to Nigeria, 18 were introduced into Nigeria from other countries, while only two were not grown in appreciable quantities in the country and as such predominantly imported. 

Uwaifo therefore charged members of the committee to put in their expertise and explore more herbal medicinal plants not captured in the first edition. 

He also advised the committee to take a cue from countries with various editions of Herbal Pharmacopoeia such as, Ghana and India to update and adopt plants with similar agronomical proportion with a view to coming up with a second edition. 

Responding on behalf of the other members of the committee, the Acting Chairman, Prof. Tony Elujoba, said that the Herbal Pharmacopoeia represented the official documentation of medicinal plants, their values and standardization of quality and quantity. 

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