Pharmacognosy & Environmental Medicines – History

DATE OF ESTABLISHMENT:

It started functioning as a Department in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences shortly after the Nigerian civil war in 1970.

CURRENT NUMBER OF STAFF SINCE THE LAST 50 YEARS TO DATE:

 Total Staff Strength:

Academic staff strength rose from 1 in 1970 to the current number of 6 in 2011. The academic staff is composed of Professors, Senior lecturers and Lecturer I staff. The technical and administrative staff strength is 8.

BREAK THROUGHS AND ACHIEVEMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT:

The Department was the first body to prove through the research work conducted by Professor Maurice Iwu that Garcinia kola (Bitter kola) has all it takes to treat Hepatitis.

Secondly Professor Iwu has investigated and integrated Picralima nitida as part of the work being developed for anti-malaria at walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington DC, U.S.A..

The National Pharmacopeias South East zonal office is being co-ordinated in the Department of Pharmacognosy and Environmental Medicine, University of Nigeria Nsukka.

In 2010 the name of the Department was successfully changed from the Department of Pharmacognosy to Department of Pharmacognosy and Environmental Medicines.

FUTURE PROSPECTS:

With the volume of research currently going on in the Department the future is quite bright for growth and development. The University Administration under the leadership of Prof. Barth. Okolo allotted twenty (20) hectares of land to the Department to be developed to Medicinal Plant Garden.  The incumbent Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba has pioneered the procurement of seedlings of Medicinal Plants and Nuttraceuticals as well as initiated the fencing of the garden.   Other infrastructures are yet to be implemented.  The benefits expected from this project are:

  • Quality knowledge transfer through proper presentation of the plants
  • Saving costs and risk associated with our yearly visit to other centres having Medicinal plant garden outfit
  • Increasing the Faculty and University visibility through research and production
  • Upholding the requirements for accreditation re-accreditation of the Faculty by the National University Commission (NUC) and Pharmaceutical Couuncil of Nigeria (PCN)

RESEARCH ACTIVITIES:

Research activities focus on the following aspects:

  1. Phytochemistry
  2. Phytomedicine
  3. Ethnomedicine and ethnobotany
  4. Formulation of herbal remedies into dosage forms
  5. Medicinal Plant Ecology
  6. Crude Drug Taxonomy
  7. Clinical Pharmacognosy