Covid-19: Prof Iwu commences clinical trial of herbal preparation

Prof. Maurice Iwu

Professor Maurice Iwu is better known in Nigeria’s political circles as a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. But the former INEC boss has not let go of his first profession as a scholar.

Iwu says all is now set for him to commence clinical trial of Artemisinin, a herbal preparation as part of the global efforts to find cure against the Coronavirus disease pandemic

Iwu, disclosed that he has obtained approval from the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), to conduct the trials on COVID-19 subjects using the herbal supplement.

New Telegraph reports that Iwu, a Professor of Pharmacognosy, made the disclosure on Monday in Abuja, 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.

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He said: “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.”

Minister of State for Health, Sen. Adeleke Mamora, who appreciated the roles of modern traditional medicine practitioners in the country, said that the ministry was currently working towards reviewing the traditional medicine policy.

The WHO representative, Dr. Kofi Boateng EPI Focal Point, Universal Health Coverage (UHC), said the WHO recognises that complementary and alternative traditional medicine has many benefits when properly harnessed, adding that research into traditional medicines was an effort in the right direction.

Not a few people have expressed the hope that alternative medical practice may hold the source of solution to the covid-19 pandemic.