Nurses Day: Reps give standing ovation to nurses, make case for alternative medicine

The House of Representatives during its plenary on Tuesday gave a standing ovation in honour of nurses and other frontline health workers in the fight against COVID-19, to mark  the International Nurses Day 2020.

The lawmakers, led by its Speaker, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, stood up and with resounding applause which lasted for a minute, celebrated nurses in the country and all other health workers.

“We thank our nurses who are in the frontline in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, we thank them as they fight to keep us alive,’’ Gbajabiamila said.

Meanwhile, the house has urged the Federal Government to support and encourage the use of locally developed remedies for the management and treatment of COVID-19 in order to ascertain their efficacy.

This was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion on Urgent Matters of Public Importance by Rep. Prestige Ossy at plenary.

Moving the motion earlier, Ossy said that the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic had more than four million confirmed cases of infection globally with a death toll of over 200,000.

According to him, Nigeria has over 4,641 confirmed cases and over 150 deaths and that the virus is spreading to virtually all states of the federation at an alarming rate.

The lawmaker said that the World Health Organisation (WHO) was yet to find any effective cure or vaccine for the virus but had launched  international clinical trials known as “Solidarity” to help cure.

Ossy said that though the WHO had cautioned against the use of any drug or treatment that had not undergone clinical trials, some countries had jettisoned the caution.

He said that some countries had gone ahead to develop indigenous treatments to combat the ravaging effects of this virus on their citizens.

“Informed that Israeli Institute for Biological Research have successfully developed a series of antibodies to combat the Coronavirus.

“The Israeli President is considering building a vaccine production plant for the production of vaccines to treat COVID-19 patients.

“Madagascar, a small African country, took their destinies in their hands and to the consternation of the WHO and the African Centre for Disease Control, developed a herbal drink for the treatment of COVID-19 and so far, it has not recorded any death from COVID-19 cases,’’ he said.

Ossy expressed worry that various similar claims of breakthroughs in the cure of COVID-19 by Nigerian scientists and alternative Medical Practitioners had received virtually no attention from the government or its agencies.

“I am aware that Prof.  Humphrey Nwosu, the Chief Executive Officer of Bioresources Institute of Nigeria,  stated that his team of researchers have found a cure for Coronavirus.

“This information has been conveyed to the Ministers of Health and Science and Technology and till date,  no action has been taken by the government to verify the authenticity of this claim.

“I am aware that the Traditional Complementary and Alternative Medicine Department of the Ministry of Health, has written to the Director-General of NAFDAC, informing her that the department through its research,  has formulated a possible cure for the management of COVID-19.

“I am aware also that the Anambra Traditional Medicine Board, headed by Reverend Father Raymond Arazu,  a Catholic Reverend Father and foremost Traditional Medical Practitioner, has announced that the board has developed a cure for COVID-19.

“I am also informed that a Nigerian Pharmaceutical Company, headed by Dr. Paul Olisah Ojeih, came out with claims that the COVID-19 pandemic has become a money making venture for certain privileged Nigerians and that his Company, Iris Medical Foundation Drugs and Pharmaceutical, have developed a drug that can cure COVID-19 in 72 hours.

“I am concerned that instead of looking inward and encourage our scientists and alternative herbal practitioners like other countries are doing,  we are rather waiting for the WHO for a cure and subjecting our people to be used as experimental guinea pigs for vaccines, which are still in their developmental stages.

“There is need to encourage and support some of the claims by our local scientists and alternative medical practitioners as some of their claims sounds convincing enough to allow a trial of the drugs developed by them,

“After all,  it is still the same trial of treatments that WHO is currentiy engaged in,’’ he said.

The house, therefore, urged the government to support and encourage the use of locally developed remedies for the management and treatment of COVID-19 ailments in Nigeria in order to ascertain their efficacy.

In his ruling, Gbajabiamila mandated the House Committee on Health to interface with the relevant government agencies to ensure compliance and ensure that they were included in the clinical trials by the WHO under its ‘Solidarity initiative’. (NAN)