Kenyatta University has secured funding for the establishment of the country’s first national reference centre for herbal medicine.
The university received a Sh69 million infrastructure grant from the National Research Fund.
Kenyatta University Vice-Chancellor Paul Wainaina said that upon establishment, the centre will ensure quality production and use of herbal medicine.
“The centre [will] help build a vibrant natural health products industry through development and utilisation of an interface between indigenous knowledge and modern science, technology and innovations,” said Prof Wainaina.
Prof Wainaina added that the centre will also promote home-grown innovations for development and manufacture of products that meet national and international standards.
Key programmes at the centre will include testing, validating and documenting indigenous and locally available resources to produce natural health products that provide equitable, affordable and quality healthcare in the region.
The country faces a myriad of challenges in its efforts to promote herbal medicine, some of which include lack of a functional herbal medicine development facility, lack of a quality assurance facility for herbal medicine products as well as a lack of a laboratory and equipment for use in up-scaling innovative products to commercialisation and licensing level.
“Majority of the herbal medicine have not been patented while others are still not sold commercially due to licensing issues.
“The facility shall serve to upscale research products to commercialisation and licensing levels while enhancing synergy between universities and industries,” said Prof Wainaina.