BY PATIENCE IVIE IHEJIRIKA and ROYAL IBEH, Abuja
Findings from a research done by a team of local researchers have shown that some Nigerian spices and vegetables have properties that thwart coronavirus infection.
The study entitled “Identification of potentially effective local therapies” was funded with a TETFund intervention grant.
The objective is to identify chemical compounds, including medicinal plants, that can be repurposed or use to prevent or treat COVID-19 in the country.
One of the researchers, Professor Chinedum Babalola, listed the spices and vegetables as ginger, garlic, bitter kola, onions and lemon grass, etc.
Babalola, who is the vice chancellor, Chrisland University, Abeokuta, disclosed this yesterday at the ongoing one-week virtual meeting by the Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE) and Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy (NAPHARM).
“Some of them will attack the virus or symptoms,” she said.
Babalola also listed existing drugs like chloroquine, ivermectin, azithromycin, and remdesivir, etc., as anti- COVID-19 remedies.
She, however, stressed the need to form a coalition of scientists to mobilise, harmonise and share resources to create jobs.
The director-general of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), Dr Obi Adigwe, identified funding as a huge problem when it comes to research in the country.
He said, “Government has improved a little bit in terms of funding research, but over the past two and half years, we have realised that there is a deep-rooted problem in our society which has limited funding to research and development in Nigeria, and that is due to lack of understanding what research and development means to our society.
“Here in Nigeria and Africa, we have to fight to get our foot at the door, because we take research and development to the back row and that will not take us anywhere, hence the need for us to prioritise so that we can get the funding from development partners and foundations, outside government funding.”