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SON develops 24 draft African traditional medicines standards

The 24 draft African Traditional Medicines Standards developed by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) would soon be ready for the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO).

Speaking at the 13th Technical Meeting of the National Mirror Committee (NMC) on African Traditional Medicine (ATM) in Abuja on Monday, the Director General of SON, Mallam Farouk Salim, said the objective of the meeting is to articulate Nigeria’s position at the continental level in respect to matters of African traditional medicine as well as prepare African Standards with emphasis on quality and safety of African medicine as a basis for mainstream African Traditional Medicines (ATM) in the African National health care systems to give the products accesses to global market.

Salim who was represented at the meeting by the Chief of Staff Prof. Olobayo Kunle said as part of the duty demanded, the essence of the meeting is to discuss and articulate Nigeria’s position in the conclusion of the 24 draft standards in ATM at the continental level.

He said some of the standards to be discussed today are part of the medicinal plans proposed by fair committee at the ARSO TC82 meeting held at Kigali in May 2016, which has demonstrated Nigerians credibility and value at the continental level as being able to drive the standardization activities to this point.

Salim stated that SON’s drive towards the standardization activities of African traditional medicine has made the committee a model one to other technical committees.

He reaffirmed that SON holds this committee in high esteem while noting that the organisation’s goal is to provide all the technical support required to convey submissions as well as articulate Nigeria’s position to ARSO as required.

In the same vein, the Director, Standards Development, SON, Engr. Yahya Bukar represented by Deputy Director Standards, Mr. U. S. Mohammed, acknowledging the efforts put in by each member of the committee in recent years to the promotion of the standardisation of African Traditional Medicine.

Bukar announced to the members that the main purpose of the 13th technical meeting was to deliberate on 24 Draft Standards in African Traditional Medicine (ATM), amongst which are:

  • DARS 956-6:2022, ATM _ MPS _ Moringa oleifera (Zogale),
  • DARS 956-12:2022, ATM _ MPS _ Hibiscus sabdariffa (Zobo),
  • DARS 956-5-3:2022, ATM _ MPS _ Anacardium occidentale _ part: 5-3 Cashew Apple,
  • DARS 956-4:2022, ATM _ Medicinal plant _ Calotropis procera (AIT) R. Br,
  • DARS 956-14:2022, ATM _ MPS _ Ocimum gratissimum (Scent leaf) and
  • DARS 956-10:2022, ATM _ MPS _ Adansonia digitata (Baobab), etc.

He added that active participation with a view to seeking clarifications alongside proposing better approaches on achieving the set goal as a Technical Committee, so as to “walk the talk” and push standards out of the shelves for the greater development of the country.

Bukar then promised to introduce a brief guidance on how the respective NMC/TC can drive the uptake and implementation of their standards after their approval.

Speaking, the Chairman of the Committee, Prof. Maurice Iwu said: “As participants of the continental ARSO meeting, our own component has been most robust and all-encompassing seeing that contributions are from various angles with such a united objective”.

He noted that the importance of standards cannot be over emphasized, hence the need for SON to strengthen the National Mirror Committees as well Technical Committees to have as many approved standards as possible nationally, continentally, and globally to allow for exports of products from Nigerian origin which would amount to a boost for the Nigerian economy.

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