Medicinal herbs on verge of extinction, says UNIMED VC
*Farms will offer students entrepreneurship opportunities
The Vice Chancellor of Ondo State University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, (UNIMED), the only university of Medical Sciences in West Africa, Prof. Friday Okonofua, has raised alarm over the extinction of herbs in the country.
Okonofua declared this during a media interaction with journalists recently to unveil the Second Founder’s Day Lecture of the institution slated for December 17, 2017.
He lamented that herbs, despite their potent use for conventional medicine, were fast going into extinction in Nigeria because no institution was concentrating on their plantation, growth and preservation.
He, however, disclosed that the institution would leverage on its efforts, structures, achievements and calibre of staff, to pioneer herbal medicine in the country.
According to him, the institution would add it to its five academic courses by keying into the National Universities Commission (NUC) and the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) programme to prioritize herbal medicine in the country.
This, he said, would lead to establishment of herbal farm for production of different species of herbs for conventional drugs.
The local drugs and vaccine, as said by him, would lead to scientifically-based innovations in medicine, entrepreneurship and revenue generation for the institution and students, giving it leading role in research work and transfer of knowledge globally.
Okonofua, who said the University is run on Transparency, Effectiveness and Accountability (TEA), added that the entrepreneurship drive of the herbal farm would be based on practical experience and financial empowerment for students.
He announced that the Friend of UNIMED Fund (FUF) to raise one million supporters who would donate at least N1000 for the development of the institution was yielding positive results.
The VC, who said the first set would graduate in 2019, assured that the FUF would be utilized “in a transparent, effective and accountable manner for specific identifiable projects on research, service delivery and development of the university.”
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