The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has explained why Nigeria will not resort to herbal drugs for the treatment of COVID-19 in Nigeria.
The Minister spoke on Thursday at the daily press briefing of the Presidential Task force on COVID-19 in Abuja.
Ehanire said several traditional medicines that were being suggested by some herbal practitioners in the country as cures for COVID-19 had not been tested and might be toxic.
He said: “On the cure of COVID-19, the traditional medicines that have been given to us or rather that people said they had, we have referred to them to Traditional Medicine Complementary Department of the Federal Ministry of Health and to the Nigerian Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development to evaluate.
“But some of them, who have written to me that they have medicines, have asked me to give them 10 patients so that they can cure them.
“They say: ‘Give me 10, give me one and I will cure them, and you will see that it works.’
“But we don’t do it like that in medicine.
“We don’t have human guinea pigs.
“Anybody who knows that he or she has a cure must prove to me that it was tried and it worked.
“Many of the cures are not tested on anyone at all.
“Of course, I am not giving them anyone to go and carry out their tests.
“That is why they have to go through the research cycle to make sure that their medicines are not toxic and you can also check the efficacy.
“So, those are things that will be tested.
“Any kind of medicine can be toxic.
“The toxicity can be checked and you can also check the efficacy.
“And as you know, you have to try it on animals such as rats and mouse, before it is certified.”