The lab that goes to the root of the problem
The «preferential treatment» afforded to the southern countries can take other forms. In Burkina Faso, Jardins du Monde is trying to bring together the traditional practitioners in the health centres to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, and to encourage the growth of medicinal plants in nearby gardens. In relation to certain plants, the work of the universities and NGOs is a veritable race against time. «Barely 6 to 10 % of plants described in scientific literature are examined from a chemical and/or pharmacological point of view» explains Olivia Jansen, PHD student at the pharmacognosy department. She goes on to say, «As it happens, several species are in danger of disappearing. We know that one in five plant species will disappear over the next thirty years». Sometimes, for example, in a dry, savannah-type environment, where it is the root part of the plant that is effective against the parasite, it is necessary to put in place a plan to grow the plants in question, if we want to ensure the survival of this valuable resource.
Other types of "benefits" for southern countries are already under
way, or are planned, in collaboration with the Universities and the
local socio-medical services. Jardins du Monde organises health training
in this way. The role of women is encouraged in the treatment of the
most common diseases by local medicinal plants, awareness of basic
hygiene practices, and making the most of plant foods rich in essential