- Seeks govt’s probe, approval for product
One of the Universities in Nigeria, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago – Iwoye, Ogun State, has claimed to have produced a potent Herbal Syrup for the prevention, treatment and management of COVID-19.
Vice – Chancellor of the University, Prof. Ganiyu Olatunde, who unveiled the Anti – COVID – 19 Herbal Syrup at the institution’s main campus, expressed the confidence that the syrup would successfully pass the scrutiny of the food and drugs administration agency in Nigeria and receive favourable outcome.
Olatunde also announced three other products namely; automated dispenser hands sanitizer, personal hands sanitizer and face masks produced by a group of researchers at OOU – all meant to assist in observing personal and corporate hygienes, required to halt the spread of the virus.
The Vice Chancellor said the innovations are parts of the state – owned institution’s achievements during the Lockdown.
He said: “Our university is one of the core Universities that engage in research into the COVID-19 pandemic and in partnership with Anjo, who’s one of our very core effective partners in herbal medicine, we’ve been able to produce an Anti – COVID-19 herbal syrup which we’ve processed to NAFDAC for approval.
“So, I can assure you that it went through all the necessary protocols that you can have in trying to produce a herbal syrup. It’s a joint efforts of Anjo and Olabisi Onabanjo department of Medicine research of this University.
“Apart from that, since the era of Ebola, we’ve been involved in production of hand sanitisers, the health centre was involved, the department of chemistry is also involved. We also have some sections of the university that is involved in the production of face masks, face shield which are being requested for by a number of Organizations.
“So in terms of our research, they’ve also been involved in the production of sanitiser. So, the prototype of hand sanitizer and automated solar power dispenser production. This machine was produced by our faculty of engineering and is to ensure the sanitization of hands. It is different from the one you do see, we’ve been taught two ways to wash our hands, either through the use if hand sanitizer or using soap under running water. So, it is different, it is automated, once it senses your hand and it is also solar powered.”
Corroborating the Vice Chancellor’s view, the Deputy Vice – Chancellor(Academic), Prof. Deji Agboola, said the remedy was prepared based on the existing global post – mortem reports on COVID – 19 deaths.
Agboola said the team had no access to samples of COVID – 19 patients for laboratory test with the syrup.
“We don’t have access to samples of COVID-19 patients because of the nature of the diseases, so we then relied on postmortem reports. We suggested that whatever we’re going to do to curb this disease must have four components, the first is antibiotics properties, antiviral, anticoagulant and anti -inflamatory properties.
“What we did in order to form a scientific base with it is that we look at the literatures, which are evidence based and that are peer reviewed, people have worked on flowers, have been peer reviewed and evidence based we already have antiviral especially Covid-19 peer reviews, so we look at all those specifics in each of the flowers suggested for.
“However, in the process of producing a drug, we realised that it takes 10 years in complete tested drug, so it will be very unfair and difficult to go through all the 10 steps for you to produce and certify a drug, and the first thing to do when you want to go for herbal syrup like this is to take it to NAFDAC, for the agency to which the group have done, and the last stage is to test it and for you to test this, you need a virus, that’s why there is need to take it to the Laboratory.
“But we don’t have access to that and that is why NAFDAC is saying that any group of people that have produced this kind of syrup should go ahead and send it to the agency to follow it to the ready procedure. We have done to the best of our ability, what we can do in our environment like this, so the last stage is to hand it over to NAFDAC to follow through all those procedures because we need to do trial, it is when we do trial that we can answer the question of side effects, that is why NAFDAC is saying bring it, we will do all those processes for you.”
Also, One of the researchers on the Anti – COVID – 19 syrup, Dr. Ashidi Joseph, Acting Director, Research, Linkages and Advancement, OOU, also confirmed the syrup contains four properties – “anti – bacteria, anti – viral, anti – inflammatory and anti – coagulant.”
COVID -19 Herbal Syrup is a preparation of the University’s cream of researchers.
Appropriate procedure has been adopted to bring it to the knowledge of the National Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for assessment.
The university now awaits, in expectation, its approval or certification by the food and drugs regulatory agency before releasing the Syrup into the market.
Investors are also being expected to key into the project to facilitate mass production for local and international markets.
The herbal materials that go into the preparation are all Africans and sourced locally in Ogun State.