Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

Learn8. Feeling blue. Traditional medicine.

I am looking at the wonderful resource of traditional medicines from indigenous rain forest regions and seeing how the forests are getting mown down, slash, bun and palm oil.

YouTube banned Greenpeaces protest video (don't click this link, you have been warned http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/files/po/index.html?gclid=CIO-gqL5n6EC...
if you do click it don't watch the video it is horrible, sad and TRUE in it's way)

The traditional knowledge story I picked to look at was about a clinic that was set up in 1994 with traditional healers, conventional doctors and researchers in Madagascar. So people were able to get free prescriptions of traditional medicines but continued to pay for conventional ones. In fact traditional medicines were used for 60% of illnesses. This allowed families to save sums of money that could then be spent on Education and food. Communities were later seeing the use of conserving forests for medical plants.

http://srdis.ciesin.org/cases/madagascar-005.html

Sounds like good news.

However I am of the British Opinion that health care should be free. When 50 to 70 % of all new medicines are coming from the rainforests anyway shouldn't the poorest and the original discoverers and owners of the plant knowledge have access to the derived medicines?.

I find it sad Eli Lilly has made more than a billion dollars out of just one little Madagascan plant that the Malagasy people have to pay for and that's where it becomes difficult because the drug company has made a medicine that means that now 95% of childhood leukaemias are curable, a company that can do that is wonderful.

My beef with drug companies and their investors is that they don't seem to know that their objective is to make people well, not make money. Stocks bought and sold in medicine just serve to make medicine more expensive for the sick and dying.

http://www.blossomandtwigs.com/flower-blog/general-blogs-posts-abou...

http://www.wildmadagascar.org/flora/

Although the project World Bank is against deforestation in Madagascar unfortunately they have recently been implicated in the trading of Madagascan rainforest rosewood timber.

http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0111-madagasar_rowan.html

http://www.thezambian.com/news/b/hannilie_zulu/archive/2005/12/01/a...

Good news, more recently following huge internet campaign the Madagascan Government has once again banned rosewood trade. It remains to be seen whether this will in fact be effective but it does show that satillite tracking and worldwide surveillance and campaigning can change national policies.


http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0325-madagascar_rosewood_ban.html
http://pdf.dec.org/pdf_docs/Pnadh151.pdf


Anyway, I expect if anyone reads this they will see why I feel blue.

I am also feeling a bit out of my depth with regards to the research, I keep getting an is that right is that true alert in my brain and noone to check it with.

Views: 19

Comment by Sarah Shaw Tatoun on April 25, 2010 at 10:40am
PJE, the 'is that right, is that true?' questioning is more valuable than you may realize. In complex situations, the willingness to be uncertain is a great gift. It lets you examine much more evidence, much more closely than people who need certainty will ever be able to. It's an uncomfortable feeling, but don't let it paralyze you-- I think you're doing a wonderful job with your research. You've turned up a lot of information here that I've never seen and assembled it in a way that will encourage everyone to think - the first step towards collaboration and action.

By the way, the last two links got entangled so they don't reach the pages intended. Here's the first one: http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0325-madagascar_rosewood_ban.html and here's the second: http://pdf.dec.org/pdf_docs/Pnadh151.pdf

I agree with you about the linkage of profit and medicine. I think we need to go back to the public funding of research in a lot of areas. Having so much research done for profit and so much information becoming proprietary means that drugs and treatments that could save the lives of millions of children in the developing world are never developed, while companies concentrate on developing slight variations on unnecessary drugs that the wealthier part of the world can be convinced to buy.

Keep on finding those articles, PJE-- and keep on thinking and writing about them. You never know what you might spark.
Comment by Paul Holze on April 26, 2010 at 12:11pm
Reminds me of my friend's statement that "Avoiding truth is denying yourself freedom." Thanks for posting the links and findings you have come across.

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