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The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) played host to the National Mirror Committee (NMC) on African Traditional Medicine (ATM) as it recently held its 13th Technical Meeting at the Organisation’s Corporate Headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria.

The Director General (DG) SON, Mallam Farouk Salim represented by the Chief of Staff Prof. Olobayo Kunle in his welcome address expressed delight at the caliber of members who make up the prestigious committee and commended them for their dedication to this course, which is service to Nigeria as well as humanity at large.

L-R The Chairman of the National Mirror Committee, Prof. Maurice Iwu, and The Director General’s representative and Chief Of Staff SON, Prof. Olobayo O. Kunle

According to Salim, “the objective” of the meeting is to articulate Nigeria’s position at the continental level in respect to matters of African traditional medicine as well as prepare African Standards with emphasis on quality and safety of African medicine as a basis for mainstream ATM in the African National health care systems to give the products accesses to the global market.

Farouk further said that as part of the duty demanded, the essence of the meeting is to discuss and articulate Nigeria’s position in the conclusion of the 24 draft standards in African Traditional Medicine (ATM) at the continental level (ARSO).

He said some of the standards to be discussed today are part of the medicinal plans proposed by the fair committee at the ARSO TC82 meeting held at Kigali in May 2016, which has demonstrated Nigerians’ credibility and value at the continental level as being able to drive the standardization activities to this point.

He added that their drive towards the standardization activities of the African traditional medicine has made the committee a model one to other technical committees.

Overview of the NMC meeting on African Traditional Medicine (ATM)

The DG reaffirmed that SON holds this committee in high esteem while noting that the Organisation is here to provide all the technical support required to convey submissions and articulate Nigeria’s position to ARSO as required and wished all a fruitful deliberation.

In the same vein, the Director of Standards Development (DSD), Engr. Yahya Bukar, represented by Deputy Director Standards, Mr. U. S. Mohammed, welcomed all to the meeting, acknowledging the efforts made by each committee member in recent years, technically and financially, to the promotion of the Standardization of African Traditional Medicine.

The DSD announced to the members that the main purpose of the 13th technical meeting was to deliberate on twenty-four (24) Draft Standards in African Traditional Medicine (ATM), amongst which are:

  • ​DARS 956-6:2022, ATM _ MPS _ Moringa oleifera (Zogale)
  • ​DARS 956-12:2022, ATM _ MPS _ Hibiscus sabdariffa (Zobo)
  • ​DARS 956-5-3:2022, ATM _ MPS _ Anacardium occidentale _ part: 5-3 Cashew Apple
  • ​DARS 956-4:2022, ATM _ Medicinal plant _ Calotropis procera (AIT) R. Br
  • ​DARS 956-14:2022, ATM _ MPS _ Ocimum gratissimum (Scent leaf)
  • ​DARS 956-10:2022, ATM _ MPS _ Adansonia digitata (Baobab)

He added that active participation to seek clarifications alongside proposing better approaches to achieving the set goal as a Technical Committee, to “walk the talk” and push standards out of the shelves for the more remarkable development of the country.

Yahya then promised to introduce brief guidance on how the respective NMC/TC can drive the uptake and implementation of their standards after their approval.

In response, the Chairman of the Committee, Prof. Maurice Iwu, welcomed participants and commended the representatives from various agencies.

According to Iwu, “As participants of the continental ARSO meeting, our component has been most robust and all-encompassing seeing that contributions are from various angles with such a united objective”

He mentioned that the importance of standards cannot be over-emphasized, hence the need for SON to strengthen the National Mirror Committees as well as Technical Committees to have as many approved standards as possible nationally, continentally, and globally to allow for exports of products from Nigerian origin which would amount to a boost for the Nigerian economy.

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