Home » Africa: University of Lagos Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ogunsola, Prof. Maurice Iwu, Advocates Awareness for Medicinal Plants in Healthcare and Public Understanding

Africa: University of Lagos Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ogunsola, Prof. Maurice Iwu, Advocates Awareness for Medicinal Plants in Healthcare and Public Understanding

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medicinal plants

Renowned Nigerian professor of pharmacognosy, Prof. Maurice Iwu, emphasizes the crucial necessity to raise awareness about medicinal plants. Recognizing the significant role that medicinal plants play in healthcare.

According to punchng.com, Prof. Iwu underscores the importance of increasing public understanding and knowledge surrounding these natural resources.

Speaking at a retirement ceremony in honour of a professor of Cell and Molecular Biology, Joy Okpuzor, who retired voluntarily from the University of Lagos, Iwu, in his keynote address, titled, ‘Beyond Lifespan: The Use of Rasayanas in the Treatment of Ageing and Age-related Diseases,’ said that Nigeria was ripe for the export of some of its indigenous medicinal plants to the rest of the world.

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“My main concern is Nigerian people; if they can embrace what they have, government inclusive, and that way we will be able to move forward. Right now, Nigerians should be able to export a lot of our medicinal plants either processed or finished products, to the outside world.”

He said for most of the diseases particularly the chronic ailments that people would spend money on, such as hypertension, diabetes and so on, there were indigenous products for them.

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According to him, “Things that are as simple as the ordinary zobo, for example, are very good for people who have high blood pressure. If you go outside the country, you will see displays of various sophisticated, well-packaged medicines that are from Nigerian plants.”

The Vice-Chancellor of UNILAG, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, said the university had been working on medicinal plants for a while.

According to her, “More recently we had a World Bank-sponsored research centre looking at traditional medicines. There are a lot of our traditional medicines that we have to verify and validate.”

While speaking on Okpuzor, Ogunsola described her as a committed lecturer.

She said, “I wish I could hold her back, but we must honour her wish, she is an honourable person. You have impacted the lives of so many, God bless you.”

Former VC UNILAG, Prof. Toyin Ogundipe, said, “Our paths crossed when I came to UNILAG as a young lecturer. We have been working together, she is dependable, research-oriented, consistent and a good teacher. She is a disciplinarian and god-fearing, thanks to her husband for supporting her.”

Prof. Joy Okpuzor had her first degree (1977) and second degree in Biochemistry at the University of Ibadan and University of Benin respectively. She had her PhD in Biology at the University of Lagos.

She had her post-doctoral research experience at the Department of Biotechnology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom between 2003 and 2004. Okpuzor is an erudite scholar in the Department of Cell Biology and Genetics, University of Lagos. She is a professor of Cell and Molecular Biology with 33 years of experience at the university. Okpuzor had directly trained nine doctorate students, 80 masters students and 180 undergraduate students in her 33 years of active service at UNILAG. Her inaugural lecture was titled, ‘Nature’s Work Gang: Their Role in Life Processes.’

She advised younger female scholars, saying, “Do your best for humanity. You are here for a short while, treat your students like your own children.”

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