By Hanan A. Ibrahim
Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, on Thursday unveiled series of traditional medicines made from local herbs for boosting human’s immune system against infectious diseases, including the rampaging Coronavirus disease.
The products launched were Verozil – an immune booster, Bitter Leaf Capsule – specially researched and produced to attack diabetes and high blood pressure, Vision Pro – an herbal product that tackles eye problems and Rio Capsule – which regulates men’s sexual disorder.
The product launch which held at the Ile-Oodua Palace in Ile-Ife, was done through a platform called Herbal Remedies International with the Ooni as its Chairman, in partnership with the ace traditionalist; Dr. Akintunde Ayeni, C.E.O./Chairman, YEMKEM International LTD.
Addressing newsmen, Ooni Ogunwusi who wondered why the African continent inports medicines and other medical ingredients from developed countries, explained that it is a proven fact which is equally established by the World Health Organization that Africa and indeed Nigeria have the best herbs which could be used for vaccine production.
“We are not doing this in isolation and I am happy to inform you that the National Assembly is currently working on a bill of the Federal Executive Council, on medical research that is alternative to orthodox medicine which is the herbal medicine.
“The Bill is to develop and regulate Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Nigeria. We will endeavor to align with global trends in Traditional Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, there is no doubt that the bill as drafted will greatly enhance the practice of Traditional Complementary and Alternative Medicine and generally facilitate the integration of the practice into the health in Nigeria and capable of contributing to the GDP growth of the country.”
“I am very honoured to be in partnership with the best when it comes to alternative medicine practice in Nigeria, YEMKEM International who has been in the industry for the past 40 years. He owns the largest production plant in Nigeria.
“We have been on this for over one year during which we have worked with various stakeholders in the health sector including the NAFDAC, Federal and Osun State Ministries of Health, Standard Organization of Nigeria and many others who have been so supportive.
“To the glory of God, NAFDAC gave us all the approvals last September but I insisted that the products be packaged properly. To the glory of God, these products have been tested especially on thousands of Covid-19 patients including some in positions of authority who are currently free from the pandemic.”
“Now that we have gotten here, our focus is to employ one hundred thousand (100,000) youths within the next fifteen months. This will be achieved virtually.” The Ooni said.
In his goodwill message, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation, Mr. Afolabi Imoukhuede, commended the Ooni over the innovation, adding that many youths would be engaged productively through this initiative.
Mr. Afolabi said, “If you study the value chain associated with this innovation right from the cultivation of herbs, production, packaging and distribution, it is obvious that many jobs will be created and countless doors of opportunities will be opened for our youths.
“I am impressed about this and I wish to commend the Ooni who has continued to lead from the front among other frontiers. This shows that he is committed to the development of our dear country and all of us should emulate him.”
In the same vein, Chairman of YEMKEM Int’l LTD. Dr. Akintunde Ayeni, described the development as his greatest achievement since over forty years of practice, explaining that such landmark achievement is more spectacular because it is coming from Ile-Ife; source of mankind and natural headquarters of the Oduduwa Race worldwide.
“It was not easy and I wish to state that the Ooni who conceived the idea, gave us all supports including huge sum of money which made this a great success. In the whole of Nigeria, Kabiyesi (Ooni) is the only traditional ruler who has shown immeasurable commitment to the development of alternative medicine. He has been supportive morally, financially and spiritually and I appeal to other monarchs to emulate these good virtues.” Dr. Ayeni stated.
Speaking on behalf of the Commissioner, Osun State Ministry of Health, Mr. Gbenga Adepoju, pledged government’s support for the products, noting the country has what it takes to solve her problems.
Mr. Adepoju, who is the Director of Public Health in the Ministry, said, “Kabiyesi’s activities in the development of a vaccine against Covid-19 is a huge addition to our efforts as a government. As we keep fighting against this common enemy, I want to implore us to keep observing the Covid-19 protocols including wearing of nose masks, observing social distancing and maintaining personal hygiene.”
In their separate speeches, National Agency for Food, Drugs, Administration and Control (NAFDAC) who was represented by the Director of Public Affairs, Mr. Jimoh Abubakar and the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) represented by Engineer Gideon Amosun, jointly declared their organizations’ support for the innovation, commending the frontline African monarch over the medical breakthrough.
It will be recalled, that Ooni Ogunwusi who is the natural leader of the Yoruba race worldwide had last year proffered African herbal medicine as remedies against the Covid-19 pandemic. The African foremost monarch swiftly assembled a team of professionals including a professor of public health and a WHO consultant, Professor Olapeju Esimai who led the team that distributed motorized fumigators across the 36 states of the federation and Abuja FCT as the Ooni’s contribution in the fight against the pandemic.