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Planting the seeds of malaria control

Tuesday, October 14, 2008 12:28 PM
Across sub-Saharan Africa malaria kills as many as 3000 young children each day. Most of these deaths are unnecessary, because there are highly effective medicines that can cure malaria infection —artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs).
Across sub-Saharan Africa malaria kills as many as 3000 young children each day. Most of these deaths are unnecessary, because there are highly effective medicines that can cure malaria infection —artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs).
Production of ACTs depends on availability of this plant, Artemisia annua, which contains artemisinin, a natural ingredient crucial to their manufacture. Until recently, the medicines were in short supply, mainly because not enough plants were being cultivated.
Artemisia annua was formerly grown only in China and Viet Nam, but in 2004, WHO, with its partners the United States Agency for International Development, the BetterWorld Together Foundation and the non-governmental organization Technoserve, started a project aimed at helping farmers in the United Republic of Tanzania grow the plant.
East Africa's highlands offer an excellent environment for the cultivation of Artemisia annua.
In the Waarusha village of Engalaoni, United Republic of Tanzania, farmers like Mika Abel Langei are now growing Artemisia annua. Langei, the group leader for the Artemisia cultivation project in the village, was instrumental in convincing his fellow Waarusha neighbours to plant Artemisia in addition to traditional crops such as maize and sweet potatoes.
A large-scale farm and nursery owned by the Dutch seed company Enza Zaden, produces seedlings of Artemesia annua. The plants are grown from seed in field nurseries and sown into rows like maize. After five to six months of growth, the Artemisia plants stand more than 2 metres high and can be harvested. Leaves from the plants are gathered to dry until they are reduced to 13% moisture. Then they are ready for the active ingredient, artemisinin, to be extracted.
Artemisia annua has turned out to be a good cash crop for local farmers — as good as tomatoes, but with less risk. In 2005, 132 metric tonnes of Artemisia leaves were harvested in this area, enough to produce the active ingredient for 1.1 million ACT treatments

Source WHO    
Mtumie Rafiki Yako
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Mtoa Maoni: ZKJyyVgLoesTOJm    Wednesday, September 05, 2012 12:05:39   
Charismatic leaders and deeuoggams project themselves as redeemers and the only ones who can lead the revolution and or triumph in an election. Dr. Slaa has been projected as such a person and since his party CHADEMA is no match to CCM in terms of organization, mobilization and outreach, he is being banked on to produce the magic individually. Indeed, today some leaders in the political and social domains are urging voters to give consideration to individual competence rather than party affiliation in casting their votes, come October 31. How tenable is that proposition, considering that in Tanzania and elsewhere under representative democracy, individual politicians or independents have never constituted a critical mass in parliament? Some few years ago, an American Professor, Francis Fukuyama, wrote a very interesting book, The End of History and the Last Man. He argued that, the progression of human history as a struggle between ideologies is largely at an end, with the world settling on liberal democracy at the end of the Cold War and the fall of Berlin Wall in 1989. Fukuyama predicted the eventual global triumph of political and economic liberalism. He goes on to say that, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government had been reached for people in development areas, the universalization of Western liberal democracy is an implantation of reform from above, lacking organic evolution. The political classes in developing countries including those in the ruling coalition and the opposition have embraced liberal democratic politics as the only course open; driving the majority of ordinary citizens to conform and move with the tide. The saying that, people live in the world they do not understand is true to the core. Given that the problem of poverty and underdevelopment are recognized by the political public as main defining features the precarious existence of the masses of the people in the country, some creative imagination need to be put to test on how political leaders of parties and Movements can put their heads together to write The Manifesto of the People? It is ironic that some years ago when Prof. Sethi Chachage was their mentor, leading NGOs like TGNP and TAMWA used to attack neo-liberalism (as pursued by the ruling party CCM) but to-day they keep quiet about the opposition's embracing of neo-liberal populism in their Election Manifestoes! What if contestant parties pull their faculties together and produce one fine document, with each party starting its selected one or two issues on priority basis and treating them diligently for ordinary people to rediscover themselves? Our main political parties are different,yes, but only in colours and rhetoric. In the wake of globalization, they have abandoned ideological struggle with fate. All embrace liberal democracy after all. The main political parties have launched their Election Manifestoes for 2010 General Elections. They seem to be ideological bedfellows rather than being class enemies. Liberal preferences do not reflect pro-people ideological commitment, but only translate into general platform politics which in reality can not be sustained but are used as vote-getters." by Prince BagendaMsafiri Kafiri
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