Comoros – Fight against Malaria

Overcome the disease with Artemisia tea

Artemisia Project

Located north of the Mozambique Channel, the Comoros form an island state in the Indian Ocean. There are significant shortcomings in the social assistance and the health care organisations. In 2004, the country had 15 doctors per 100 000 people. This is why PartnerAid Switzerland is running a project in the health sector there.

 

If in our country a child is asked which is the most dangerous animal, the most frequent answer is the lion, the snake or the shark. But in reality, the enemy is much smaller. The beast which brings death to many people is the mosquito, carrier of malaria. Malaria is a major problem. Medicines are unaffordable, especially for the poorest sections of society. In addition, growing resistance is problematic. The plant “Artemisia annua anamed” contains, besides the precious artemisinin, other antimalarial substances. According to an independent US study, it has been proven that this plant is more effective and also cheaper than malaria drugs. Moreover, despite the long-standing use of Artemisia, no resistance is yet known. In our project, we are growing this plant in collaboration with local farmers.

 

Through training, farmers learn how to improve soil quality and how to use natural insect control. Artemisia is reproduced by means of vegetative propagation.

 

After the harvest, the leaves are turned into powder which can be bought for a small fee by the affected people. Other goals are: training of medical personnel and informing the public about the possibility of treating malaria inexpensively.