FESTUS Onwuliri, Nigerian researcher at African Centre of Excellence in Phytomedicine Research and Development (ACEPRD), University of Jos, Plateau, has developed a local remedy for tuberculosis.
Onwuliri disclosed this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday during the closing ceremony of the 2019 Science, Technology and Innovation Expo held in Enugu.
The don said that the micro-bacterium tuberculosis medicine which was on display at the pavilion of the institution, was more effective than foreign ones.
He said that the new indigenous product was the best for the isolation and characterisation of pathogenic materials, especially bacteria, as the product was produced from a local grain called ‘Acha’.
He added that “our invention — Acha Agar and Acha Urine Agar — could isolate so many microorganisms that cause bacteria.
“The two varieties of Acha -Digitaria Exilis and Digitaria Iburua which are of the grain specie, were the major components of the research and they were used for the isolation of bacteria.
“Both of them have been proven to be effective and can authoritatively replace the imported medium for growing bacteria and diagnosing tuberculosis.
“Macunki, nutrient algae and blood algae are the popular bacteria medium usually imported into Nigeria.”
The researcher said that the product was also compared using immunological ability, genetic expression, enzyme characterisation, property and behaviour, enzyme induction as well as anti-biotic susceptibility.
“The outcome is that the new invention has the same chemical components but with a better cultural performance compared to the foreign ones.
“Of mention was that we set out to determine the proximate analysis such as vitamins and magnesium that could help grow the medium.
“We wanted to know the growth result within 24 hours when incubated at the same temperature. In this regards, the foreign media took six months to grow when you culture them and that is enough time for the patient that needs it to die.
“However, our new product that underwent same process grew in two weeks and that is unprecedented compared to an average period of six months.”
Onwuliri said that he was motivated to embark on the research due to the high cost of treating tuberculosis in Nigeria.
“As a result of this, we began the search for an inter native that can compete favourably with imported drugs.
“The local product has the ability not only to inoculate but also allow for sensitivity which hitherto was not possible with the foreign drugs.
“By so doing, you can know for certain the exact drug to prescribe for your patients instead of the usual ‘trial and error’ drug prescription synonymous with foreign ones.”
Meanwhile, the 2019 Science, Technology and Innovation Expo ended with a call for the commercialisation of the 12 award winning products on display at the event.
The Leader of the Assessment and Award Team, Mr Patrick Ikpenwa, made the call during the closing ceremony of the expo.
Ikpenwa, the Enugu State Commissioner for Science and Technology, said that the result of the expo needed to be used to promote economic activities in the country.
He called for the establishment of a dedicated fund for research activities, adding that the event had further exposed the ingenuity in Nigerians.
The commissioner also appealed to relevant government agencies to simplify the processes of registration and patenting of intellectual property rights to encourage inventors.
“We are impressed with the innovations exhibited and believe that if these efforts are nurtured, we can solve the importation and infrastructural problems in Nigeria,” he said.
Ikpenwa, however, said that most inventors that displayed their wares did not adhere to quality and that there were duplicity of efforts among researchers.
“Most products were poorly packaged and without registration numbers. Participation by investors, financial institutions and state government agencies was low,” Ikpenwa said.
The expo was organised by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology and this year’s event had “Science, Technology and Innovation for Economic Recovery and Sustainable Growth” As its theme.
– Jan. 20, 2019 @ 12:05 GMT |