A former acting Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Prof. Anthony Elujoba, has called on the Federal Government to explore the opportunities offered by diverse plants in the country to treat victims of coronavirus.
Coronavirus, which started in Wuhan, China in late 2019, has killed thousands of people globally and four months after there is no known cure for it.
Elujoba, who is a professor of Pharmacognosy at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the university in a statement on Tuesday, called on the Federal Government to create isolation/treatment centres where patients who choose to be treated with alternative medicine would be attended to all over the country.
The professor said the World Health Organisation and the federal agencies including the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research; the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control and some Nigerian universities had invested in herbal medicines in the past.
He said it was now time to explore the dividends of their investments by using the products of their investment in herbal medicine to offer solution to the pandemic.
Elujoba, however, said alternative medicine should not be confused with witchcraft and occultism.
He argued that the spread and death rate occasioned by coronavirus should “push us to alternative actions before too late.”
“We read on a daily basis testimonies of several patients from here and elsewhere of COVID-19 including chief executives in governments using or talking about herbal options, one president has spoken publicly on herbal cure.
“ … It is time for dividends of the past expenditures on herbal development and time to start proactive herbal research on these emerging diseases.”