Herbal medicine should be integrated into Nigerian health care – NMPDC boss


Temitope  Obayendo)

Pharm (Hajiya) Zainab Shariff, CEO, Nigerian Medicinal Plants Development Company (NMPDC) is a well-known authority on “Green Pharmacy” in Nigeria, having done extensive work on several medicinal plants. In this exclusive chat with Temitope  Obayendo, Shariff, who is also the national chairperson of the Association of Lady Pharmacists (ALPs) explains why the federal government must integrate herbal medicine into the Nigerian health care delivery system. She also emphasises the role of adequate funding in productive research. Excerpts:

It was recently reported that only 25 per cent of medicinal plants are utilised in Nigeria. As an advocate of herbal medicine, what factors do you think will enhance the harnessing of Nigerian medicinal plants for health and nutritional benefits?

To fully harness the usefulness and efficacy of these plants, there must be increased sensitisation of Nigerians to appreciate the values and enormous potentials that abound with their use. The federal government, on its part, must initiate and facilitate policies through the Federal Ministry of Health by passing the Traditional Medicine Policy, to regulate the practice.

Women Living with Fibroid could Experience Painful Sex - Researchers

There is also the need to facilitate the integration of herbal medicine into the healthcare delivery system. This will stimulate research and development, as well as processing and packaging of herbal products.

Added to this is the need to discourage importation of such products mostly from  China and India currently flooding our markets. Reduced interest in the quest for chemically synthesised drugs and a desire by the global pharmaceutical sector to promote “Green Pharmacy” will also promote utilisation.


Since the creation of NMPDC, how far has it gone in harnessing the potentials of herbals for the improvement of health care in the country?

NMPDC has, so far, successfully cultivated and commercialised Artemisia annua (a Chinese antimalarial plant used in producing ACTs). We currently have four products in the market: Artemisia tea, Artemisia tea plus, Morigvite tea and Morigvite powder. Also, there are nine new products that we plan to introduce to the market, which are currently awaiting approval by NAFDAC.

Why Cholera Killed Three in Plateau-Commissioner Explains

Many research findings have identified several nutritional phytochemicals in plants. Most of these findings have however died a natural death, due to lack of sponsors. How can this issue be addressed?

Researchers are urged to carry out their findings from A-Z. Research findings on medicinal plants at every stage have the potential to generate revenue, while the revenue generated is used for further research. This is done to prevent research works ending up under lock and key, and even forgotten. Most importantly, there must be a strong political will by the government to support research institutes through adequate funding and encouragement of private participation to commercialise research findings.

It has been observed that fertilisers used in cultivating some plants make them unhealthy for consumption. Do you agree with this observation?

As much as possible, it is better and safer to go more organic, and less inorganic in the choice of fertiliser used.

Stakeholders insist on 15 per cent budgetary allocation to health

How cordial is the relation between NMPDC, faculties of pharmacy and other research institutions?

There has been a very cordial relationship,by way of collaborative efforts,with universities such as University of Jos,  Zaria,and University of Benin. Research institutes, such as NIPRD, Bioresources Development and Conservation Programme, Raw Materials Research and Development Institute, Agricultural Research Council, National Stored Products Research Institute, Institute of Public Analysts of Nigeria, etc.

What are the challenges facing your company?

The major challenge, at the moment, is funding.

What counsel do you have for other researchers in Nigeria?

Researchers in Nigeria need to identify themselves with research institutes around, locally or internationally. Researchers have to strive to source for government intervention to support research and commercialise research findings. They should not easily give up. Efforts could also be made to source for intervention from private partners, investors, institutions and international organisations, particularly in researches that have high potentials to be commercialised and can impact positively on the society.




  1. How can I get her new books pls..I watched her on NTA program and it was suberb with alot of information I got on the types of plant we are endowed with.can I get her e-mail or something.. Thanks
    Kunle jimoh

  2. How can I get her new books pls..I watched on NTA program and it suberb with alot of information I got on the types of plant we are endowed with.can I get her e-mail or something.. Thanks
    Kunle jimoh

  3. Good day sir,how to include NANTMP in to system by giving them seminar and fair in order to update our members

  4. today i appreciate knowing your web site which is educative and suggest that you should ask the authority concern to make available the names of medicinal plants in Nigeria in Nigerian languages as this will be very helpful.Thank you

  5. I want to specialise in green px when I graduate. I am a 4th year student of px University of Nigeria Nsukka. Are the doors of NMPDC open to young upcoming reseachers like me? What are my chances?

  6. Thousands of writings that have been prepared by our writers help students complete their essays on time.
    It can be used to give focus to planning and as an aid to setting goals, objectives and may help decision making.
    If you own a blog or website that relies on traffic alone (for example, those that make money on advertisement views and not clicks) you can accept any kind of
    visitor to your blog.

  7. Thanks for reading sir.If can visit the website of NMPDC, to get her contact in order to send her a direct invitation.We would also like you, to share our stories with your friends on facebook.


  8. Democratic Republic of Congo is organizing a one month trade fair starting from 5th July 2014 and the Nigeria Embassy will appreciate if Dr. Zainab U. Sheriff participate at this events.

    Embassy of Nigeria Kinshasa


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here