In recognition of her numerous contributions to creating awareness about women health most especially in the area of Breast Cancer, the wife of the Ondo State Governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu was yesterday honoured with an Award of Excellence by the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo City.
Speaking at the Public Lecture of the university held at its main auditorium, Arabinrin Akeredolu made case for open mindedness in developing herbal remedies for cancer treatment in Nigeria.
According to her, there is a need for a paradigm shift when it comes to advocating for herbal medicine. While commending the University for taking a giant step to bridge the gap between herbal and orthodox medicine, the wife of the Governor also affirmed the need for funding of researches.
“The university has taken that giant step in making this possible, bridging the gap between orthodox and herbal medicine but for them to conduct this researches, they need money”, she noted while calling for re-orientation as she affirmed that Nigeria as a nation does not even have a research culture.
Earlier in his address, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Friday Okonofua, FAS, acknowledged that the lecture was organized as part of efforts of the university to launch herbal research initiative in the university.
According to him, 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.
While noting that the lecture was the first in the series, 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.
In his lecture titled ‘Some Efficacious Nigerian Anti-Cancer Herbal Remedies’, the Guest Lecturer- Prof. Joseph Okogun, traced the history of traditional medicine noting that it is not possible to develop a modern drug in Nigeria and get FDA approval.
While challenging policy makers for taking more interest in contracting foreign drug acquisition than in drug development, Prof. Okogun affirmed that Nigeria is now in a position to develop herbal remedies from local sources to combat the scourge of cancer as some Nigerians are in the forefront finding herbs that has anti-cancer properties.