The Artemisia Annua Project aims to fight malaria through informing, helping and educating people about the cultivation and use of the Artemisia Annua plant. The project aims to promote the communal cultivation and use of this plant with curative effects against malaria, with the goal that people affected by this disease, especially those who live in villages or remote communities with little access to hospital, shall enjoy their benefits and improve their health and therefore their quality of life.
After hearing about the Artemisia Annua through the catalan horticulturist Josep Pamies, founder of the Sweet Revolution (la Dolça Revolució), known for his activism to promote the consumption of many diverse medicinal plants, and after months of searching for information of the properties of Artemisia aganinst the malaria, its cultivation, use, interviews with experts, fundraising and growing our first Artemisia plants here in our house, OneLove acquired a kit for the cultivation of Artemisia Annua to Anamed , a German NGO dedicated to promote the cultivation of medical plants.
The project started on the ground between october 2012 and january 2013 in the South West Region of Cameroon, where thanks to the donations of dry leaves of Artemisia and the seeds we received from the Catalan Association Sweet Revolution as well as the help and commitment of local volunteers in the area, we distribute 2 kg of dried leaf Atemisia Annua to people affected with malaria, with a 100% effective results. We gave the plant to people suffering symptoms of the disease, indicating them to take adequate doses. All of them were interviewed after three days and we received very positive feedback from all those who tried the plant. We made a more exhaustive following, with blood analysis in the laboratory, to some of these patients to verify that they were suffering the illness, and after three days of taking infusions of Artemisia they all went down to an acceptable level of malaria in the blood, disappearing completely in the fifth day of treatment.
Meanwhile, in the city of Buea, also thanks to the help of entities and local volunteers, we began our first plantations of Artemisia in Cameroon, which involved the germination, growth and transportation of around a thousand plants. These initial plantations showed us how the plants get used to the climate, determine what is the best time for growing in the area, as well as to train our volunteers and local partners on the project in the cultivation of the plant.
Once the plants were transplanted individually and were big enough to withstand floods and rains, we transport them to Nguti agricultural community, where we planted new plants and germinated in a different time, and thanks to the work of local volunteers, stakeholders and local residents, led by a project coordinator who also works voluntarily, some of the plants have been grown properly and produced dry leaves to treat malaria as well as seeds for replanting.
From 2014 on, in One Love we aim to expand the project to at least four communities of the Division of Kupe Munenguba in the same region. The project enhancement will be done through specific seminars targeting the population of these communities for those interested to learn how to cultivate and use the plant and can teach the rest of the community to do so.