Contrary to beliefs in some quarters, members of The Association of Lady Pharmacists (ALPS) have insisted that they don’t have anything against herbal medicines or medicinal plants, instead, they are championing advocacy for the cultivation of medicinal plants for health, nutrition and economic benefits.
Addressing journalists in Lagos, yesterday, at the association’s 15th biennial national conference, National Chairman ALPS, Victoria Ukwu, stated that the cultivation of the medicinal plants was ongoing in the six geo-political zones to provide herbal products, raw materials, nutritional supplements and body care products.
According to her, “our pet project, “Project 91,” is for the cultivation of economically viable medicinal plants for nutrition, health and economic benefits. Plants have been identified and allotted to each zone. The emphasis now is on agriculture. Nigeria is blessed with medicinal plants. We can get all our governors’ wives, who are our patrons, in various states to be involved in the planting of herbal/ vegetable gardens across the country. This will serve to empower the women as well as help to showcase our rich herbal resources.
Historically, the members observed that orthodox medicines are sourced from plants, but most of them are not intentionally cultivated. They disclosed that what they were doing was intentional cultivation of specific plants identified to have potential.
For instance, they said some of the best garlic in the world could be found in Nigeria, stressing that the project could be a wealth spinner for the country.
Former National Chairman, ALPS, Chief Yetunde Morohundiya, said they were trying to change the narrative, adding that “we are also partnering with National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD).” She also said there is a need for standardisation.
Ukwu added that the association was embarking on public education on drug and drug-related matters that are drug and substance abuse, misuse campaigns and advocacy.
Speaking at the conference, she said the theme is, “Pharmaceutical Value Chain for Optimal Utilisation