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Thursday, 24th September, 2020
 Nigeria   ::   News
COVID-19 outbreak is an opportunity to develop our pharmaceutical products – University VC, Prof Babalola
Sep 11, 2020
By: Abara Bleesing Oluchi

Nigerian Professor of Pharmaceutical chemistry and Pharmacokinetics of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Chinedum Peace Babalola has disclosed certain local remedies that can be used to combat the covid-19 disease as she said that the outbreak of the virus is an opportunity for Africans to develop their pharmaceutical products.

The Chrisland University Vice Chancellor who made this disclosure yesterday during the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Virtual Media Roundtable also spoke on the need for more research in winning the fight against the much dreaded COVID-19 pandemic.

The NAS virtual meeting was held to address certain questions and controversies pertaining to the COVID-19 disease especially in Africa such as the implications of the COVID-19 disease to the reopening of schools in Africa, the availability of local products or immune boosting nutritional agents for protection against the virus, the place of Nigeria in the development of COVID-19 vaccine among others.

Present at the webinar were but not limited to Professor of Medical Sciences, Netter Medical School, Quinnipiac University, Prof. Akanji Abayomi who was the moderator of the webinar; NAS president, Prof. Mosto Onuoha; the Executive secretary of NAS, Doyi Odubanjo; Adjunct Associate Professor in Medical Laboratory Science, Dr. Onyeaghala Augustine; Mobolaji Dasola; V.C. of Chrisland University, Prof. Chinedum Babalola; Transformation Agent, prof. Rotimi Jaiyesimi; Professor of Health Economics and Policy and Pharmacoeconomics, Prof. Obinna Onwujekwe alongside other speakers from Unites States and United Kingdom.

Prof. Babalola who spoke extensively on the availability of local products and immune boosting agents said the adequate consumption of cashew, alligator pepper, Africa pepper, ginger, garlic, onions, water soluble vegetables citrus fruits and fruits rich in zinc can prevent corona virus.

Stating for instance, she said garlic has strong antibacterial properties, onion has strong antioxidant property, bitter kola is useful in preventing and treating influenza virus, while alligator pepper can be used to mange virtual infections.

Howbeit, she added that Africa can use crucial plants such as moringa, lemon, grass, bitter leaf, king of bitters, black seed etc can be used in the treatment of corona virus if well researched.

However, the professor made a call that Nigeria should use the outbreak of the virus as an opportunity to develop her pharmaceutical products.

Meanwhile, some guest speakers at the NAS meeting spoke on the implications of reopening Nigerian schools in the face of the pandemic.

Transformation Agent, Prof. Rotimi Jaiyesimi said that the students can be allowed to return to school but non-pharmaceutical measures such as the reduction of class sizes, use of sanitisers and face masks amongst others must be put in place.

Also, Professor of Health Economics and Policy and Pharmacoeconomics in the Departments of Health Administration & Management and Pharmacology and Therapeutics, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Prof. Obinna Onwujekwe advised the government to consider the cost required to effectively put the COVID-19 protective measures in place together with good infrastructures before reopening schools, because it will be a huge mistake to reopen schools without showing evidence of readiness.

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