By Danmaryam Zayamu
The Director General of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD, Dr. Obi Adigwe, has disclosed that within the past 16 months, the institute has introduced new initiatives to reengineer and ensure its sustainable growth.
While presenting his scorecard at a media briefing in Abuja, Dr. Adigwe revealed that NIPRD has introduced Aflatoxin Infestation control strategy for health improvement.
The institute, according to him, has also catalyst for local production of Ready to Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTFs) and export of Nigerian products.
RUTF is used for the treatment of children with Severe Acute Malnutriton (SAM).
Other initiatives, he said, included: “Introduced the NIPRD Health Education Engagement Access Discourse (HEEAD) as a consultative platform for all stakeholders in the Nigerian Pharma Industry and value chain – Presidential Inauguration in June 2019
“Contextual Processing Protocols (CPP) projects for harnessing phytomedicinal potential of natural resources in the 36 states and FCT – 10 states have been approached with Kaduna State at advanced stage of deployment
“Development of comprehensive study protocol on National Drug Distribution and Supply Chain to underpin evidence based sustainable control of drug abuse menace and partnership with German development partners to operationalize Bioavailability and Bioequivalence (BA/BE) Tests Laboratory within the institute.”
He further noted that NIPRD introduced specialized Internship Programme on Quality Control of Herbal Medicines for experts across West Africa in herbal medicine standardization and regulation – Maiden batch of two scientists from Burkina Faso were trained in September, 2019
“Commenced active collaboration with the federal ministry of health, Traditional Complementary and Alternative Medicine (TCAM) Department on periodic training of TMPs in Nigeria towards actualizing the ultimate goal of integrating herbal products into modern healthcare system
“Sustained advocacy and collaborative engagements with over 40 MDAs, 8 Federal Universities and over 15 Embassies, High Commissions and diplomatic missions within Nigeria, over 10 international development partners
“Successful introduction of oversee capacity building and training of staff through the NIPRD and Indian Government collaboration – so far four staff have benefited in 2019
“Successfully distributed tablet personal computers to over 75% of entire staff of the institute to facilitate efficient office work
“Successful transition from ISO:17025:2015 To ISO:17025:2017
“Developing an intensive backward integration plan to stimulate local production of excipients such as starch and cellulose, pharma inputs and other relevant raw materials.
“Initiating a comprehensive strategy on API manufacturing project with the NNPC
Articulating a bottom-up inclusive National Pharma Strategy to ensure that Nigeria emerges as the Continental Hub for the sector at implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA), he revealed.
On recognitions so far received, he said, NIPRD has been: “Designated as Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) center for Foreign Trained Pharmacists Orientation Program in April, 2019 and also designated as one of the West African Health Organization (WAHO) Centers of Excellence/Reference Centers on Traditional Medicine Training and Research.”