In Mali, malaria is the third most important febrile illness (accounting for 12.6% of cases of fever) and is responsible for 3.7% of admissions to the medical wards at Bamako University Hospital. Cerebral malaria accounts for 51.7% of paediatric emergencies and causes 42% of child deaths; it is also the most important cause of mortality (13%) and morbidity (15.6%) in the whole population (Doumbia, 1997). All these data show that malaria remains a major public health problem.

In view of the increasing levels of drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum in Mali (Plowe et al., 2001), intensive research is necessary, including in the field of traditional medicine. Herbal medicine is widely used in Mali for a variety of diseases, including malaria (Ancolio et al., 2002; Diallo et al., 1999; Djimde et al., 1998; Théra et al., 1998, 2000; Traore et al., 1993). In other

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FIGURE 7.1 C. occidentalis.

countries this has led to the development of important antimalarials, as discussed in other chapters of this book.

Malarial was first formulated by Prof. Mamadou Koumaré, based on a recipe used in his family, and is now produced as a standardised phytomedicine by the Département de Médecine Traditionnelle (DMT) of the Institut National de Recherche en Santé Publique (INRSP) of Mali. Malarial-5 is sold as a powder in 10-g sachets, one of which is boiled in water to make a decoction (Figure 7.1). The powder is a mixture of three plant species:

• Leaves of Cassia occidentalis L. (Caesalpinaceae): 64% in original formulation, now

• Leaves of Lippia chevalieri Mold (Verbenaceae): 32%

• Flowerheads of Spilanthes oleracea L. (Compositae): 4% in original formulation, now 6%

These different plants are used separately in traditional medicine. Patients treated with Malarial feel symptomatically better from 48 hours after onset of treatment, and parasitaemia decreases, without the parasites being cleared totally. Here we will discuss preclinical and clinical studies, and the importance of Malarial in the Malian Malaria Control Program.

100 Health Tips

100 Health Tips

Breakfast is the most vital meal. It should not be missed in order to refuel your body from functional metabolic changes during long hours of sleep. It is best to include carbohydrates, fats and proteins for an ideal nutrition such as combinations of fresh fruits, bread toast and breakfast cereals with milk. Learn even more tips like these within this health tips guide.

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