Professor Maurice Iwu is set to commence clinical trial of his COVID-19 drug following approvals obtained from the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), he announced on Monday.
Iwu, a world-acclaimed professor of Pharmacognosy, revealed the milestone while delivering his keynote address on the commemoration of the 2021 African Traditional Medicine (ATM), organised by the Head of Department, Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines (TCAM), Federal Ministry of Health in Abuja.
Iwu who has several patents in Nigeria and the United States in pharmacognosy is, however, more known in the country as a former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Iwu in announcing the approval for clinical approval of his COVID-19 therapy, told conference delegates: “We have also obtained all necessary ethics approvals. The primary objective is to observe and evaluate safety of Artemisinin a herbal supplement on COVID-19 subjects, while, the secondary objective is to observe and evaluate efficacy of Artemisinin – a herbal supplement – on COVID-19 subjects.”
The Minister of State for Health, Senator Olurunimbe Mamora who was also present at the occasion lauded the contribution of modern traditional medicine practitioners in the country, noting that the Federal Ministry of Health was in the process of reviewing the traditional medicine policy.
The Iwu drug against COVID-19 GreenWhiteGreen GWG reports is extracted from Artemisinin, a herbal supplement
Also present at the occasion, the World Health Organisation, WHO EPI Focal Point, Universal Health Coverage (UHC), Dr. Kofi Boateng said the WHO was not averse to traditional medicine practitioners playing a role in the health system.
He said that the WHO recognises that complementary and alternative traditional medicine has many benefits if properly utilized as he observed that ongoing researches in evaluating the use of traditional medicines in health care were salutary.