Medicinal Plants as Panacea for Cancer: The Role of Basic Science
The Centre’s Cancer research track, led by Professor Mansurah Abdulazeez, is officially closing one of its National Research Fund (NRF) grant and aims to do this by sensitizing the public on its findings, the significance of basic science to research, and how the groups’ research contributes to the progress towards SDGs.
The need to tackle the cancer menace, a major global health challenge has never been as rife. The enormous economic impact of premature mortality and lost productive life years highlights the critical importance of galvanizing cancer prevention and management to achieve sustainable development. An urgent need exists therefore, to find effective, affordable, cost-effective, culturally acceptable and sustainable way of reducing these cancers, and this is an area our project seeks to address.
Our research in drug development will improve the health and well-being of people, due to its accessibility and affordability. If the health and well-being of the people in the study areas are improved, it will boost the economic activities and improve the quality of education. It will also address the issue of gender equality because most research groups now recruit scientists and graduate students taking into account both genders for the training and capacity building. All of this will bring about sustainable development.
We know that the MDGs decreased the burden of mortality from pregnancy- and childbirth-related issues, childhood diseases, nutritional deficiencies, and communicable diseases; but mortality increased steadily as a result of prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Hence, NCDs were identified as one major challenge to sustainable development. This is because the majority of deaths globally are now due to NCDs, with cancer responsible for at least 20% of all mortality. About 78% of this global death from NCDs occurred in low- and middle-income countries [LMICs].
Our research is aimed at establishing the efficacies of remedies used for the treatment of cancer and hypertension, identifying and isolating a series of drug leads to create the needed critical pipeline for drugs of the near or distant future. This will improve health and reduce morbidity/mortality in Nigeria and elsewhere. Ultimately, the potential impact of our study will affect the world population as it will address the provisions of the third SDG: achieve universal health coverage, among other SDGs
The event aims to sensitize the public about these diseases, present research findings and achievements of the research group. Also, the event will showcase the support of the Nigerian government towards research, in order to encourage faculties, including early and mid-career professionals, as well as students in the area of basic sciences.
They will also be made to understand that research is dependent upon advances in and support for the fundamental sciences which underpin it. Any short cuts, empiricism and superficial attention to basic scientific principles leads at best to poor process performance and at worst to expensive failures.