The Director General, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) Professor Karniyus Gamaniel, has successfully completed his eight-year tenure at the institute, while listing the huge achievements of the agency, during his administration.
Top among his achievements, was the development of six traditional herbal products for the treatment of Ebola, malaria and other diseases.
Prof. Gamaniel disclosed this in his retirement speech, quoted in a press statement signed and circulated by the Special Assistant, Communication and Strategy to the Minister of Health, Kazeem Akintunde, on Sunday
Expatiating on the accomplishments of the agency under his leadership, he said the institute has developed and completed Phase I study of a fixed dose combination drug for the treatment of Ebola, while anti-malaria drug for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria which is safe for use by pregnant women, was also developed.
Among other drugs developed during his tenure, according to the statement include an immunostimulant which can be used to manage HIV in Nigeria, a drug for treatment of fungal skin infection, NIPRD Oil which could be used as a nasal decongestant, insect repellent, air freshener and an anti-inflammatory agent. “The institute has also developed ‘NIPRISAN’ for the management of sickle cell anaemia,” he added.
Prof. Gamaniel assured Nigerians of the core competence of the institute in the development of phytomedicines from indigenous plants and products, clinical trials, among others.
“We are a quality assured institute and we are currently concluding plans to carry out commercial production and distribution of these products,” he added.
The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, in his remarks, promised to source for N100 million for the institute to enable them set up a unit that would be devoted to traditional herbal products’ research.
Mr. Adewole said the establishment of the unit would enable the experts devote more attention to carrying out research on traditional herbal products.
The minister also added that another N10 million would be provided for the institute to carry out extensive research on how to turn the Neem tree into a money-spinning commodity for the benefit of the nation.
Mr. Adewole said that extensive research should be carried out on traditional herbal products, some of which have been found to have cure for different ailments.
He said that the Neem tree had been turned to a money spinner in India adding that there was no reason why Nigeria could not do same.