By IKENNA EMEWU
Professor Maurice Iwu, professor of pharmacognosy of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) has announced that he has what has a very high potential to cure the dreaded and raging COVID-19.
Iwu, a man with pedigree in pharmaceutical research during the 2013-2014 Ebola virus outbreak had said he found cure for the ailment.
Now that the coronavirus is ravaging the world, he is out again to drop hint of a possible solution and said that he has what has the potential to cure the coronavirus which he also announced he communicated the Nigerian government, China and the US when the novel coronavirus broke out.
On Tuesday this week, he was on Channels TV morning discussion in Abuja and repeated his claims of having what would bring to an end the pandemic that has been reported in 131 countries as at Friday.
He said during the chat that during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, he used his samples to test for their efficacy against all viruses – SARS, MERS, coronavirus, Ebola and many more which he said have the same pattern of infection and can be cured using the same therapy means and drugs.
Iwu noted that coronavirus is not new only that what is raging now is a new strain of the old and known coronavirus.
“When we did our research on cure for Ebola at the Bio Resources Institute lab, we stretched the efficacy of our sample test to all known strains of viruses and beyond Ebola. We found that the sample we developed has a high potential to cure Ebola, coronavirus and other strains of viruses. So when this pandemic broke out, and before it escalated, we wrote the countries involved who would have interest. Even Nigeria through the Ministry of Science and Technology welcomed the news and encouraged us to do more on its use. We made the sample here in Nigeria with substances natural and native to Nigeria and we wish it is put to use to assess definitely its efficacy.
Consistent with the rule, we registered three patents of our samples and even sent people to India to test the samples and we got very satisfactory responses. And over time, we have tested and re-tested the samples at the various stages required in science until we perfect the sample.
I said it earlier that in 2014 and 2015 we worked with a private sector group to handle the sample. While we encourage the Nigerian government to give us more room to perfect this and put it to use, we also want to let them know that if it comes into use after mass production to commercial quantity, the credit goes to Nigeria eventually for giving the world the cure for these dreaded viruses that threaten humanity.
Other media reports earlier indicated that Iwu made announced the samples while addressing then Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu who was in the company of the Minister of State for Health, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora and the Minister of State for Science and Technology, Mohammed Abdullahi in Abuja on Monday.
He said the US government had reached out to him to take the discovered compound and test it against the COVID-19 virus.
“We have selected to focus on neglected tropical emergent diseases such as Leishmaniasis, Ebola virus, Dengue fever virus, Chikungunya virus, coronavirus, and Tacaribe virus.
“When the Ebola virus broke out in 2014, many Nigerians were surprised that we had an experimental lead compound that we identified in 1999.
“Now with the emergence of a novel coronavirus in 2019 as COVID-19, we have identified and patented a possible treatment back in 2015, it is very important that we must remain ahead of these emergent infections through research.
“On Thursday last week, the US Government contacted me and we signed a non-clinical evaluation agreement for us to take this product forward and we are trying to see how we can test this compound immediately against this new virus,” the media report noted.
The pharmacists assured that he has plans with the Anti-viral programme of the United Nations National Institute of Health to subject compounds from Nigerian plants against the virus to test and use.