The project Artemisia
The plant of Artemisia annua is a plant used for 2000 years by the Chinese to prevent and cure malaria. It also acts as a repellent against mosquitoes.
It is consumed in the form of an infusion, dry leaves, powder or capsules.
Does it need a lot of water?
It needs water on a regular basis. Irrigation is therefore part of the budget of the projects we support.
What is the area needed?
1 hectare of Artemisia annua can protect up to 125,000 people.
Did the Artemisia annua have other virtues?
Yes, it is also very effective in the treatment of intestinal parasites, the third most frequent disease in Africa which is also responsible for school absenteeism. Studies show that deworming students has an impact on academic performance. Scientific studies suggest that the plant is effective against several tropical infectious diseases including tuberculosis, leishmaniasis and schistosomiasis, ...
Is the plant difficult to cultivate?
It is not uncommon for the crop to fail in the first year: the plant has not received enough water, people haven't harvested the leaves on time before flowering. But our experience on the ground shows us that expertise is acquired quickly. IDAY has set up Youth Clubs: young people who have invested in the Artemisia annua culture in their school, keep 10% of the seeds to bring them to the neighboring schools. In addition to the seeds, they bring their required knowledge to the culture. Agronomists also support young people in existing projects.
Cultivation methods of the plant:
The results of the School Gardens projects in place since 2008 show a decrease in the absenteeism of the children and the teachers, an increase in school results and a decrease of the healthcare costs of the establishments (budget which is released for other projects).
It should also be noted that 3 crises of malaria before the age of 5 decreases by 15% the cognitive abilities of the child.
In order to combat the high rate of malaria, leading to a delay in learning and a long-term high school dropout rate, IDAY supports the establishment of School Gardens combining Artemisia annua culture and plants (Fruit and vegetables) with high nutritional value to improve the quantity and quality of school meals.
Since the plant is a delicate crop, a student exchange program from IDAY projects where the plant has been established in a sustainable way will be implemented to provide technical assistance to young people committed to creating a school garden in their school.
The project also includes school canteens. Another innovative aspect
of the project is to equip canteens with energy saving stoves to reduce wood consumption and CO2 emissions. IDAY-International has financed this type of stoves in Kenya and reports indicate a 50% decrease in wood consumption (impact on the ecological level but also on the workload of canteen women), halving the cooking time (which increases the production capacity of the canteen).
In addition, it is known that the distribution of meals at school increases pupil attendance and thus positively influences the education.
To date, IDAY has initiated 99 school garden projects in 10 African countries. 52.000 children benefit from the program.
Look at one project in Tanzania:
Artemisia annua is the plant from which artemisinin is extracted, which is associated with another product (such as Mefloquine) to produce the official drug (ACT) promoted by the World Health Organization and distributed worldwide. BUT! The first resistances were observed to the latter drug, which means that it becomes less and less effective against malaria.
Studies show that Artemisia annua should be used in its entirety. It is in fact the combination of its components that makes it effective against malaria and that there are no observed resistances: there are too many different components for the body to develop resistances.
Thus, the plant as a repellent against mosquitoes and as a preventive and curative herb tea or powder, is a solution that IDAY-International regularly brings to the table of the WHO.
Studies have started on the subject for several years now (a document containing scientific references can be sent on request). They show that there are no side effects, that there is no resistance, that it is adequate for pregnant women and young children, that the whole plant must be consumed because the different components play a complementary role. Studies also show that the plant adapts to different geo-climatic conditions.
But WHO is awaiting the results of the an international scientific research to lift its reservations.
International scientific research to prove the evidence observed on the ground so that the World Health Organization lifts its reservations.
IDAY + Kenyatta University signed a Memorandum of Understanding to conduct this research in accordance with WHO requirements.