“Nature itself is the best physician; every disease has its own cure within the realms of the natural world”. – Hippocrates
The Model Herbal Clinic of the Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, on Thursday, August 31, 2023, held its 6th African Traditional Medicine Day Celebration. This celebration coincided with World Health Organisation (WHO) commemoration of African Traditional Medicine Day marked annually on August 31.
With the theme “Herbal Medicine Sustainability for Optimal Health and Economic Development”, the online event featured a lecture delivered by a Professor of Pharmacognosy and former Dean of Pharmacy, University of Ibadan, Prof. Jones Olanrewaju Moody.
Prof Moody, a teacher, administrator, a mentor, and grandson to a great and successful community traditional herbalist, while delivering the lecture spoke on the history and achievements of African Traditional Medicine Day. He noted the definitions of Traditional Medicine as cited by WHO and their importance. He narrated his first personal experience with traditional medicine – when he got burnt by a hurricane lamp and was treated with a plant called “The Grains of Paradise” (Atare). Prof Moody spoke on herbal medicine and optimal health, herbal medicine and the global economy, as well as the challenges of sustainability of herbal medicine resources. He made recommendations on the way forward for sustainability of traditional medicine in Nigeria. He advised that people should begin to participate in traditional medicine sustainability by creating mini-gardens in their homes.
The Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy, Prof. Gloria Ayoola, who doubled as the representative of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, OON, FAS, in her opening remarks, talked about the importance of herbal medicine and its effectiveness. She wished all participants a happy African Traditional Medicine Day.
The Head, Department of Pharmacognosy, Prof. Sunday Adesegun, in his address, mentioned some facts about herbal medicine in Africa, including its benefits to the continent and conservation concerns.
The event also featured a display of products manufactured at the Model Herbal Clinic such as herbal teas, slimming capsules, etc. Dr Joy Odimegwu, a staff of the Pharmacognosy Department, noted that the Model Herbal Clinic was initiated by Prof. Olukemi Odukoya with the support of other staff of the Department in 2011. She revealed that it is the first of its kind in West Africa. She stated that it was set up with the aim of translating research findings from “Bench to Market”, and thus far, is formulating scientifically proven ethno-medicinal plants into solid dosage form in teas and capsules.
The event provided a platform for the celebration of the Guest Speaker, Prof. Moody who was to retire from active service on September 1, 2023 at the age of 70. Goodwill messages to Prof Moody flooded in from well-wishers such as Prof. Wilson Erhon, Prof. Adepoju Bello, Prof Leke Adebanjo, Dr. S. O. Olagbende-Dada (rtd), Dr. Temitayo Ajayi, Diploma class of 2021/2022, among others.
The African Traditional Medicine Day celebration was drawn to a close with the presentation of a plaque to Prof. J. O. Moody by Prof. Adesegun on behalf of the Model Herbal Clinic.