Connect with us

News

Professor Okogun Calls for Review Process to Boost Homegrown Drug Production

Published

on

Joseph Okogun, professor emeritus at the Department of Chemistry, University of Ibadan

Stakeholders at every level of intervention have been advised to collaborate and review administrative processes and the approach leading to the identification of plants, scientific research, development and approval of remedies and drug production from Nigerian herbs and plants.

 

This call was made by Emeritus Prof. Joseph Okogun, professor emeritus at the Department of Chemistry, University of Ibadan at a Public Lecture as part of activities to mark his 80th birthday by Bevekt Gedu Chemical Company.

 

The lecture was titled, Active, Bitter and Sweet – A lifetime of Research on Plants, Anti-Cancer Remedies and Drug Discovery.

 

In it, Prof. Okogun discussed plants as unrivaled organic chemical factories producing useful chemicals that man exploits for various purposes, and the reasons why the natural chemistry of plants is important to healthy living. He also spoke on a variety of active ingredients that have been discovered from everyday leaves and fruits found in Nigeria and West Africa that can either treat or manage a lot of common ailments in Nigeria and elsewhere at affordable cost.

 

“There are organic and natural remedies for the management of various diseases including cancer and HIV/AIDS using several decades of data from scientific research on plants by Bevekt Gedu. Out of Bevekt Gedu’s work a pure compound initially obtained from a Nigerian plant which has been adopted and about to be finalized for drug development as a blockbuster drug by IMI of USA. This is an indication that opportunities for long lasting and sustainable investments are abundant locally” sais Prof. Okogun.

 

The event was chaired by Engr. Adama Okoene, former MD Midwestern Oil. It was attended by healthcare professionals, academicians and other professionals from public and private sectors.

 

Prof. Okogun further explained the extraction, isolation, analysis and modification of active natural products for potential drug leads or drugs and molecular probes; and the role of different professionals in the process of drug discovery.

 

Plant materials are usually processed and powdered for extraction with solvents of various polarities so that different types of compounds are extracted by the different solvents. The solvents range from gases (carbon dioxide and hydrocarbon) in supercritical fluid states, petroleum ether through ethanol to water. For instance, the removal of solvent, the usually dark brown gum is separated into the component compounds in the mixture using various chromatographic methods with or without bioactivity screening depending on the nature of the targeted compounds.

 

He explained that Biological activity screening is done by pharmacognosists, pharmaceutical chemists, pharmacologists, biochemists and microbiologists to identify potential drugs and other biologically active compounds including pesticides. Toxicologists determine the toxicity including teratogenicity of identified potential drugs.

 

When biologically active compounds are identified, there may need to improve on the activity and or toxicity by modifying the structures using chemistry linked with biology. Identified potential drugs with known mechanism of actions are used as molecular probes in diagnosis and disease research.

 

Generally, drug discovery and production are result of a multi-disciplinary enterprise and require input from most human disciplines of study which Prof. Okogun gave as follows; botanists as taxonomists, chemists for isolation and chemistry/identification of active principles, zoologists and Animal breeders produce animals needed in in vitro and in vivo studies; while biochemists, pharmacognosist, pharmacologists and microbiologists conduct biological activity studies.

 

In addition, toxicologists do toxicity studies, clinician (human and veterinary) and pharmacist will do clinical studies and use-as medicines, while lawyers and entrepreneurs for patenting and marketing respectively.

 

All of these activities by different stakeholders will create a local value chain and lead to the multiplier effect of saving foreign exchange and thousands of jobs in the rural and urban areas.

 

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Comments

News

Uber Extends Safety Toolkit Launch for Riders, Drivers to Nigeria

Published

on

Uber logo.jpg

Uber  to double down on safety and roll out Safety Toolkit for riders and drivers across 38 countries, including Nigeria; Features to include Safety Centre, Trusted Contacts, Share Trip, emergency assistance button and customisable speed alerts

This week Uber announced the new Safety Toolkit which, over the next few weeks, will be rolled out to the millions of riders, drivers and delivery-partners using the app across Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The toolkit will introduce new innovative features which aim to raise the bar on safety, and increase transparency, accountability and peace of mind for all users.

Since launching the app, Uber has provided millions of people with technology that allows them to get a ride at the push of a button, track every trip with GPS technology and report any issues 24/7 with a dedicated safety team.

With the introduction of new safety features, the company aims to double down on safety and help make the Uber community safer.

Features that will be introduced as part of the new rider and driver safety toolkit, include:

Emergency button – With the push of a button in the app, riders, drivers and delivery-partners can connect directly to private emergency services and security response when needed through a third party private security supplier

Trusted Contacts – Riders can now easily designate five friends or family members as “trusted contacts” and, with a single tap, share their trip information which are easily customisable in their trip sharing preferences.

Safety Centre – A new app-housed safety information hub where users can find information on some of the key existing safety tools in the app, including our 24/7 team, information on the driver and the car, trip GPS-tracking and our rating and feedback system.

Speed alerts – A feature which reminds drivers and delivery partners to maintain a safe speed within the posted speed limits.

These new safety features will be a phased rollout, not all riders, drivers and delivery partners will have access to the features immediately.

“With more than 15 million trips on the Uber app every day, there is nothing more important than the safety of riders, drivers and couriers. Over the last year we’ve been working to develop innovative products that increase transparency, accountability and peace of mind for all users.

The rollout of our new Safety Toolkit features across Europe, Middle East and Africa is the next step in making sure that we’re helping everyone stay safe and connected, wherever you might be,” says Sachin Kansal, Uber’s Global Head of Safety Product.

Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has made safety a top priority for 2018. Since joining the company, he has introduced a number of changes including Injury Protection cover for driver’s, delivery-partners and riders, driving hour limits and Driver Share my Trip.

Continue Reading

News

Okeremi Urges NIMC to Creating Additional Biometric Centres to Expedite NIN Registration

Published

on

Ronke Okeremi, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Arit of Africa, in addressing the inadequacy of centres, has urged NIMC to create more physical and mobile registration centres in order to speed up the enrolment of more Nigerians.

Okeremi while speaking on the need to hasten up the programme suggested that the creation of more centres across the country will solve the issue of slow pace of registration and boost the morale of Nigerians in the urban and rural areas to participate in the exercise.

The technology expert who is managing the oldest information and communication technology [ICT] in Nigeria reiterated that one of the logjams associated with the NIN programmes is the inadequate registration centres especially in some remote areas in the country.

She therefore called on NIMC to equally train its field officers in order for them to give their utmost in the discharge of their duties, in respect to the NIN registration exercise.

“Operators who are enrolling the citizens must be properly trained and biometric acquisition and authentication processes must be adequately defined.

“Mobile biometric enrolment kits can be used to provide biometric registration where it is required and it is especially useful for enrolment in outskirts and in the remote areas.

“A biometric system is made credible by ensuring that quality biometric acquisition devices are utilised and by installing software that ensures the quality of captured biometric and security of the biometric system”, she said.

Since the period the National Identity Management Commission [NIMC] was established to provide sustainable world-class identity management solution to affirm identity, enhance governance and service delivery in Nigeria, the government agency has experienced setbacks in enrolling Nigerians properly.

Among these challenges are ineffective and inefficient enrolment exercise, which include lack of adequate registration centres, extortion of enrollees before they could be enrolled, lack power supply and unavailable internet facility among others.

These challenges have rendered the enrolment exercise comatose, resulting in slow pace of work, which has further left many Nigerians frustrated, dejected and disinterested in the NIN exercise.

Continue Reading

News

Nigerian Startup Celebrates Female Heroes

Published

on

Social media in recent weeks has been agog with the celebration of iconic Nigerian women, by Nigerian female entrepreneurs from all walks of life, who have been commemorating their female heroes.

 

618Bees, a Nigerian tech start-up, began the ‘Naija Woman Hero’ contest where women are required to post a photo of their all-time iconic Nigerian woman on Instagram, using the hashtag #NaijaWomanHero, and tagging @618Bees.

 

Thousands of female entrepreneurs have nominated their iconic Nigerian women and the contest has started a resurgence of some sort since the competition began.

 

The competition has seen thousands of posts since the contest began on October 1st.

 

According to the BBC, Nigeria has the highest number of female entrepreneurs in the world and who often struggle to secure investment, with banks always requiring collaterals, like properties, which women often do not have.

 

Without access to capital, it is difficult for a lot of women to grow their businesses.

 

In a bid to make life easier for women, 618 Bees is offering hundreds of woman the opportunity to start their own businesses by registering the businesses for free.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Communication Week Media Limited.