Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?
In spite of all the efforts made by the Governments to enable a larger financial and geographical accessibility of the population to medical cares, health coverage continues to face huge difficulties. In Burkina, there are 600 pharmacists and 1,700 doctors for 16 million inhabitants, which represents one pharmacist for 26000 inhabitants and one doctor for 9,000 persons. Only 30% of the population has access to essential medicines and 98% of those medicines are imported. The Burkinabe people living with less than a dollar per day have many difficulties to get access to specialist practitioners and to public health care structures.
Many people turn to traditional medicine which is often perceived as obscure. That sacred and ritual aspect of African traditional medicine has, for a long time, been mocked, fought and demystified by modern medicine. However, African pharmacopeia, whose richness has been demonstrated by the early explorers and researchers, has been included in many so-called modern drugs and lead to important break-through. According to the Ministry of Health, there are more than 10 000 traditional practitioners are in Burkina Faso. However, their products are not subjected to scientific control and the prescriptions do not take into account individual characteristics such as allergies, gastric problems, blood pressure. The consequences are complications that can even lead to the death of the patient, which will thus affect the healers’ credibility. For these reasons, traditional pharmacopeia was not tolerated within health structures.
As Dr. Dakuyo’s work has gained traction, it has become increasingly harder to gather enough plant material in the wild. The efforts of others to cultivate the plants have failed because when the plants are domesticated they do not produce the medicinal chemicals.
About 70% of African wild plants have a medicinal value. However, the increase in demand faced with the reality of the resources available has caused the depletion of important species in areas where they were once abundant. In response to the over-exploitation of the key plants, many prevention and restoration programmes have been set up but it was done so without involving the producers.
Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!
To increase public access to health, Dr. Dakuyo promotes the use of traditional medicine and provides it with added value and visibility. He has standardised traditional pharmacopeia to give it full place next to modern medicine, improving the traditional recipes and transforming them into quantifiable, simple medicinal products affordable for everyone. He relies on modern science instruments to certify the products and has prompted health authorities to take into account traditional medicine through the adoption of a public health law that officially acknowledges traditional medicine and pharmacopeia. He is building bridges between doctors and healers to improve the condescending and mistrust relationship and to bring them to collaborate. To withdraw the mystic image associated to traditional plants that contributes to its marginalisation, Dr Dakuyo integrates key traditional remedies into the same distribution circuit as modern drugs. Among the remedies available in pharmacies, there is the "Tea Saye" very effective against malaria and that costs $ 0.65.
In order to ensure uninterrupted market supply of raw material and the preservation of threatened species, he has organised the traditional plants producers and trained them in harvesting, drying and environmental protection techniques. He creates a win-win partnership system for the regeneration and sustainability of species threatened with extension, the medicinal plants’ permanent production and the producers’ incomes increment with a guaranteed market.