|Mrs Anyanwu-Akeredolu with the award
The first lady of Ondo State, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu has been presented with an Award of Excellence for promoting breast cancer awareness across the country.
The Vice Chancellor, University of Medical Sciences (UNIMED) Ondo, Prof Friday Okonofua, presented the award to her at the launching of UNIMED Herbal Medicines Research Initiative held at the University main auditorium, Odosida campus.
In her remarks, the first lady commended the university for the step taken to bridge the gap between herbal and orthodox medicine, while appealing to herbal researchers to be open with their knowledge so that others can learn from it.
“I am alive today because of orthodox medicine, that is not to say that my mind is close to herbal medicine. If not because some herbal researchers don’t make open their knowledge, some of these herbal medicines can solve most of the health challenges facing us.”
Mrs Anyanwu-Akeredolu who harped on thorough research work to determine the potency of herbal medicines, also stressed the need for the country to have a research policy on herbal medicine.
“We are the one shooting ourselves right on the foot. How many months do our university students spend in schools before embarking on strike? How can a country develop with this kind of distractions.? If we really want herbal medicine to be acceptable, there is need for clinical trial and everyone of us including the government must be involved.”
She used the opportunity of the event to invite the gathering to the 20th anniversary of Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN)
coming up between October 18 and 20 which she said will be an avenue to also discuss herbal medicine.
The guest speaker, Prof. Joseph Okogun who spoke on the topic “Some Efficacious Nigerian Anti-Cancer Herbal Remedies” said that traditional medicine consists of plants, animals and incantation and revealed that most drugs in use now came from nature and traditional medicine.
“We believe that one of the existing unmet needs for the provision of effective health care in Nigeria is the limited understanding of how medicinal plants work and how they can be made to work for healthcare in Nigeria. UNIMED has decided to take a lead in pioneering this kind of essential research which will open a floodgate for the discovery of new and effective medications for the improvement of health, not only in Nigeria, but globally.”
The guest speaker explained different ways in which herbal medicine could be used to treat sicknesses like cancers, headache, malaria among others. He urged everyone to join hands in promoting herbal medicine which he maintained is better than orthodox medicine because it is natural.
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of UNIMED, Prof. Friday Okonofua, said the lecture was organized as part of efforts of
the university to launch herbal research initiative in the university.
He said there is a limited understanding of how medical plant
works and how they can be made to work for healthcare in Nigeria, thus
the need to tap into this existing unmet need.
Prof. Okonofua expressed optimism
that the University will establish, through its herbal medicine research
initiative one of the most comprehensive herbal farms in a single
location in Nigeria.