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July 24, 2024

World Health Day: Make local drug production priority – DG NNMDA to govt

The Director-General, Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency, NNMDA, Prof. Martins Emeje, has urged the federal government to make local drug production a priority.

In his call to mark World Health Day, Emeje said President Bola Tinubu should be talking about cutting down the importation of foreign drugs, as the country has the infrastructure and human capital to produce drugs locally.

He noted that the strategy that the country has been using since colonial times has kept it where it is, suggesting that Nigeria needs a change of strategy.

He said Nigeria cannot achieve a change in outcome if it continues with the same strategy, describing it as dependence on importation of pharmaceuticals.

“The problem is lack of investment in our own local development, local drug manufacturing, local research and development and manufacturing, and that is because we are not looking inward. We must support local drug research and development and local drug manufacturing.”

Prof. Emeje advocated the improvement of indigenous medicines, saying the country must begin to make it a priority.

He said the Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency is working towards establishing herbal medicine centres in all the 774 local governments in the country and that the agency was already developing a database of all traditional medicine practitioners in the country and the type of products and services they render, for comprehensive documentation.

“We are starting it already with Alimosho local government. It’s a N500 billion project that we are starting with Alimosho local government and we are going to use that as a pilot and escalate it to the rest of the country, ” he explained.

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