Benjamin Amodu is a Pharmacist and a herbal researcher of over 30 years experience. He specialised in communicable and non-communicable diseases which are the leading causes of human death globally. Recently he spoke with Samuel Oyejola and Chigozie Effe of Time Nigeria as he bears his mind on the development of herbal medicine in Nigeria, he said “Phytomedicine is the new frontiers-Pharm”. Excerpts
Why did you specialise in communicable and non-communicable diseases?
Using the World Health Organisation standard in 2008 alone, 57 million people died and 36 million of that is through non communicable diseases, that is why we are into those areas. Our products today that have been listed by National Agency for Foods, Drugs, Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and can deal with this ill health beyond human imagination.
How come, as a man of many parts yet you decided to focus on Phytomedicine?
When God has bestowed certain things in people, it is the same God that tailored them to realized it and make use of it. I graduated from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in the 80s as an Industrial Pharmacist. Meaning I want to set up my own pharmaceutical company. Having worked in Dodan Barracks as the Head of the Clinic for Mr. President, and having served over six Presidents of Nigeria as the Head of Pharmacy Department. I can recall one day the President could not sleep and the ADC called me late midnight. I have to go to Obalende to get herbal medicine. Within five minutes the ADC to the President called me to commend me.
While in Lagos I enrolled myself in the University of Lagos where I graduated from the university with Masters in Financial Management. When we were told to go Abuja in 1991, I said instead of playing around I will read Law and by 2002 I was called to law school, I did exams passed and called to the bar.
The research I have done on herbal medicine while I was in Lagos, I dusted it and took it to National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRID) because I don’t work with quacks. They did the test and we got the same result they got in Lagos. That was how I started and came about law, how I started as a Pharmacist.
You have bagged awards across the world, what is your driving force?
I sit here and I am given several awards. Some of them I attend some I couldn’t attend.
You seem not to talk more about your discoveries, why?
Maybe we are researching and we are not talking much. It is now that these research products are now available for commercialization and it is now your social responsibility to take it wide as possible so that the government who has lukewarm attitude to some of this information, either government does it or the sufferer would go to the root to get himself treated.
What has been the relationship of the government with your exploits?
You are talking of relationship. We are in a third world country. It is over 44 years ago that the World Health Organisation (WHO) went all over the world to find out how do people treat themselves when they are sick and they discovered that over 80% of them depended on their folklore herbal medicines. That is why the WHO asked all the continents of the world to subject them to only two test. The first one- are they toxic for human consumption? Are they stable enough to be formulated into medicine then they should go ahead. The almighty efficacy the WHO did not even talk about it.
The over 1000 medicine that are derived from plants come from their folklore uses. In fact 75% of those medicines correlate directly with the folklore uses of these plants. It is the need to mass produce these products that science went into the laboratories to study the structures of these medicines and in an attempt to get their structures that they made mistakes and it is that mistakes that brought about side effects. Now science has realized and they want to go back to the basis. This is the new frontiers now.
We have various herbal practitioners what is your relationship with them?
When we meet in meetings we relate. Even NAFDAC having seen my products called me as a facilitator to mentor them, and encourage them to volunteer their product for due process. If it passes the due process it will be accepted globally just as mine is being accepted globally.
You can imagine one of my products was taken abroad and was found to cure two cancers. Cancer of the lungs and cancer of the colon, and the third one is cancer of the breast. These three are the main killer cancers of the world. Their incidences are now 1.8million every year and 1.6 of them die every year according to WHO. Yet you have something from Nigeria that can take care of the three.
As I speak with you, how is cancer treated in the world? It is either through surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. This is the first time in the world when cancer can be melted without these three methods. Today if you take five of this combination with plenty water and time yourself for 15 days the stone gets melted without anybody touching you. What huge money will you be making internationally? Will it be compare to the unit cost of petroleum in the international market?
What is the level of WHO and related organizations in your products?
WHO and those people will not foolishly out of their own accept what you are doing. There is a lot of politics involved. For instance my Saabmal for treating malaria was sent for publication in the international journal in the US and the US guy leaked it to the WHO that there is a guy in Nigeria who has gotten a cure for malaria in Nigeria and he gave them my abstract without even talking to me. WHO accepted, evaluated it and they sponsored me to the US to present at the UN.
The video was brought to Nigeria and played here, the DG of the pharmaceutical research praised it and a member of the National Assembly praised it too. But the kind of country you are who are just waiting for the white to discover and bring it they pretended they did not see anything, and that is the product we are still using till date.
The one they brought from China and the land clearing did for 3.6 billion for Atemeta annual from China and they say it has the highest yield more than China where it came from. What have you heard from it in the last three years? Where are the drugs made from it? While they were doing that I was doing this research and I got something that has 97% effectiveness against the causative agent for malaria?
What is responsible for this?
We are in a third world country we do not believe in ourselves. Some people take money from the multinationals so as to suppress the progress of their own country and what we can do is to popularize that these things are working and we as a people we get to know.
If you as a journalist are doing your own work of circulating this information wide by the time people start deserting doctors a lot of things will happen.
Have you recorded any case of HIV being cured?
We have three cases and as a scientist I will not make noise about them until I have a good population like in 1000. I have about 200 and I will get there. At this point what the entire world wants about HIV AIDS is for those people to be on treatment to be able to go to their work, sickness free and be able to maintain themselves. If they are taking my drugs they can take antiretroviral if they like because there are no drug-food interaction with the people I have managed so far. My drugs have an advantage in HIVAIDS.
A patient might walk up to the hospital and said he has HIVAIDS and may be very weak they will take his blood and his CD forcant can be as low as, the hospital will say it is too low that they cannot deal with it. Most of these patients die because they cannot help themselves but I have treated CDforcant for as low as 50 and my products have been able to manage them quickly to 600.
Are your HIV/AIDS drugs cost effective?
In HIV we can agree because they take up to five combinations which do magical within a week of taking. For instance I have one that open the appetite in the very sick within two days of use. Once a sick person start taken food cure has come. We tested it at the national hospital.
What does the future holds for phytomedicine in Nigeria?
The minister of education has been here, he has brought me patients and I cure them he said he will personally talk to the president and I don’t know why that has not happened yet. That is to show you what happens in our country. But as many more people are getting to know something will happen. I am very positive that something will happen.
For instance I have a herbal Truvudal. What does it do? It means when you take it and you meet with a woman who has HIV you don’t pack it? That means it is a vaccine that can prevent HIVAIDS. I am working with a group in China that is working on my Zika vaccine and Zika cure to test this HIV vaccine. Up to last night on the internet there is nothing like HIV vaccine. When that one comes we will not say we have the cure it will come. Until we have the requisite number we will not make any proclamation so don’t even talk about the cure. We what we have, we can manage HIVAIDS now.
Is there any collaboration with other researchers on HIV/AIDS?
These are people that know it all. Everybody is working at his level.
What is your advice to the government?
Nigeria is great with our herbal resources which is right now available we can use it to diversify the economy instead of waiting for some grasses to come from Brazil or elsewhere. We have readily available products that can be used to diversify in partnership with the Nigeria government in the area like the cure for asthmas, hemorrhoid, kidney stone, and hepatitis.
My research shows that over 2billion population of the world shows that is affected by hepatitis A to E with B and C being the most popular, and we have reports everywhere that my drugs cure it. Countries relate with each other on the basis of comparative advantage why can’t we do that with these products?