Call edition 2012
A new edition of the Prize of the Belgian Development Cooperation has been launched. This call is open until March 31st, 2011. You can read in the regulations whether you comply with the criteria for participation.
According to WHO (World Health Organization) reports, more than 80% of the populations of developing countries use traditional medicine almost exclusively to treat their illnesses. This is explained not only by the fact that they do not have the financial resources to buy non-traditional medicines, but also by the fact that in some cases they are rural populations who do not have dispensaries or pharmacies within a reasonable distance from where they live. Tradition also plays a role: the association with the magic of some treatments is considerable.
The main problem with traditional treatments, in particular plant-based treatments, is the lack of knowledge about their efficacy, their method of action, active ingredients, dosage, indications, harmlessness and quality control. In order to enable the population to use effective treatments, and so contribute to improving public health in developing countries, it is extremely important, therefore, to conduct extensive research into these different plants to identify the active ingredients or compounds that give the treatments their particular properties, to establish which ones are truly effective, at what doses, to ensure that they do not induce chronic toxicity, in what cases they can be used and how they can be correctly identified.
This is the context of Mr Meli Lannang’s work. The study looks at two plants used in traditional medicine in Cameroon: the Securidaca longepedunculata and the Ceiba pentandra. He has focused mainly on their chemical composition and has identified several potential active ingredients. He has also made some preliminary pharmacological assessments, which of course need to be looked at in greater depth. He has also modified the structures of certain active compounds to try and obtain more active compounds which are likely to become new models in therapeutics.
report: Prof. J. Leclercq, Chemical and Physico-Chemical Analysis Unit for Medicines and Pharmacognosy, Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium