The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), on Tuesday, said it has received about 40 applications for the approval of herbal formulations for the treatment of COVID-19.
Speaking during an online news conference, Mojisola Adeyeye, NAFDAC director-general, said the herbal formulations were undergoing review to ensure their safety for use.
According to NAN, Adeyeye said there was no cure for COVID-19 and emphasised that any claim to the contrary must be subjected to clinical trials.
“In March 2019, we inaugurated the Nigerian Herbal Medicine Product Committee (HMPC) to bridge the gap often created between traditional medicine practitioners and researchers,” she said.
“COVID-19 pandemic created an opportunity and we have been encouraging traditional medicine practitioners to submit their herbal formulations for evaluation.
“We also developed guidelines on how to register herbal medicine online and the labelling of the product.
“Professor Maurice Iwu’s application for approval of a herbal medicine for management of COVID-19 is also part of the 40 applications we are reviewing for safety. We use animals for safety tests to ensure the formulation will not kill anybody.
“Until a clinical trial is done in a scientific manner, no herbal medicine manufacturer can claim cure or effectiveness to treat COVID-19 associated symptoms. I believe that Nigeria’s herbal medicines may be able to cure COVID-19.”
She added that herbal remedies have huge potential and “it is time to translate research of herbs into products of proven safety and efficacy, for the benefit of our people”.
As of August 24, 2020, a total of 52,548 coronavirus infections had been confirmed in Nigeria, out of which 39,257 recoveries and 1,004 deaths have been recorded.