Mapping Clinical Evidence of Herbal Medicine for Translation to Clinical Practice in Nigeria: The Case of Anti-Malarial Herbal Medicines

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Authors : Orgah Adikwu, Emmanuel, Orgah O, John


There has been an astronomical rise in the cost of developing drugs in the last four decades. This has had a resultant effect on public health and Nigeria is particularly negatively affected. As the world spends more money on drugs’ R&D, the volume of innovative synthetic drugs dwindles. This trend points to the necessity for a paradigm shift in drug development strategy.

Although herbal medicines offer a wide diversity of medicinal properties and have proven to be a boom for therapies, its clinical evidence mapping is largely lacking and thus cannot be integrated into Nigerian public health structures. Also, there is a high incidence ranking of malaria in Nigeria, and clinical evidence mapping of herbal anti-malarias might be the innovation to improve malaria control and elimination programs.

Few or no studies have illustrated methods to engage herbal medicine clinics in Africa and perhaps none in Nigeria on ways to describe and evaluate clinical use of herbal medicines as anti-malarial in patients. Observational clinical studies could be carried out to estimate the efficacy and toxicities of herbal anti-malarias in clinical protocols and thus document any adverse effects. This should provide the needed opportunity to measure patient outcome in malaria patients exposed to the herbal drug in a clinical setting. This paper discuses the challenges to drug development in weak and fledgling economies, the dearth of clinical research on herbal anti-malarial therapies and the prospects of herbal clinical research to malaria control and public health in Nigeria.

Key words: Herbal anti-malaria, Malaria, Herbal medicines’ clinical evidence research, Drug development and Public health


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