What / For whom?
Antenna-Medecines’ research aim is scientific validation of locally available practices and products, to improve access to health care for all.
How does it work?
Antenna-Medecine has been a key player in the development of a unique approach, called “reverse pharmacology.” This consists of:
1/ conducting a survey of various treatments used in the population and their association with outcomes, in order to select a treatment for study;
2/ conducting a clinical study to assess the effectiveness of the local treatment compared to a reference treatment.
Our mission is to identify a range of plants, practices to local products as effective as reference treatments for common health problems to make them available to the greatest number of people, in particular to the most disadvantaged among them.
PROJECT: GREEN PHARMACY – « TREASURE UNDER OUR FEET »
A better use of local resources for accessible, sustainable and good quality medicines
In the Antenna-Medecines project, a “green pharmacy” is being developed. The term “green pharmacy” has been proposed for several decades to refer to therapeutic plants re-examined by health professionals. We apply it here to any locally available and sustainable care validated by scientific and clinical research. The goal is to treat the most common health problems with economical, local and whenever possible natural products, accessible even to the most deprived populations, as the haitian expression puts it: “treasure under our feet”.
This green pharmacy can be constituted in three steps :
-(1) Selection : to find best candidates
-(2) Research and development : to improve slected treatments and assess their safety and effectiveness for validation
-(3) Dissemination of validated treatments
ELEMENTS OF THE GREEN PHARMACY CURRENTLY IN THE SELECTION PHASE:
– treatment of acute respiratory diseases and Covid (RTO-covid)
– treatment of sickle cell disease, anemia.
ELEMENTS OF THE GREEN PHARMACY IN RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PHASE:
– treatments for diabetes
– treatments for children : malnutrition (severe stage – sublingual sugar) ; parasites (i.e. lice)
ELEMENTS OF THIS GREEN PHARMACY IN DISSEMINATION PHASE:
Treatment of hypertension, malaria, mental disorders and SEVERAL other common ailments, all validated by scientific and clinical studies.
Validated treatments are disseminated in various ways:
-Integrated into national or international treatment regimens (Argemone and sublingual sugar in malaria),
-commercially distributed (hibiscus in pharmacies)
-taught to health professionals (Crisis Dialogue),
-presented in digital form (Natural-self-care) for X rational self-medication
For more details see the page Dissemination of solutions
Research is participatory, designed and conducted in cooperation with on-site scientists, health professionals, students and patients. such cooperation helps make informed choices about appropriate care.
Our approach echoes the World Health Organisation’s current General Programme, in particular this recommendation: improving equitable access to safe, quality and effective traditional medicines can help achieve universal health coverage, address health emergencies and build sustainable and culturally sensitive primary health care.
The method commonly used by Antenna at the start of a project is the “retrospective treatment-outcome” study, inspired by the concept of “reverse pharmacology” : a survey of all therapeutic practices in the population, correlated with reported outcomes.
The basic idea is that daily experience of populations accumulates after years and generations an immense quantity of data which are « observed outcomes after actions ». A set of “big data” of possible cause-and-effect relationships. Experience is misleading when it comes to inferences about causal links. For example, when we recover from an illness we think that it is due to the treatment, whereas it might well be a case of spontaneous healing. With a close look at a large number of cases, we may observe that, among several treatments used for disease X, A is followed by good progress in 80% of cases and B in 40%. This shows that A could be more effective, but this remains to be proven through a clinical trial with quality controls.
The results of such research provide health professionals and communities with new tools to make informed choices in the use of available resources – for a positive and significant impact on health.
Argemone Mexicana (Mexican Poppy, Mexican Thistle), a tropical plant that is very effective for treating malaria. During the latest survey, a 100% cure rate was reported for adults and children over five who had an uncomplicated episode of malaria and used the Argemone preparation.
Sublingual sugar for the treatment of hypoglycaemia. The World Health Organization has included sublingual sugar treatment in the WHO pocket book “Guidelines for the management of common childhood illnesses”.
Crisis Dialogue, a verbal tool to improve engagement with and support for people undergoing a psychotic episode. The handbook is available in several languages (English, French and Arabic).
Diabetes and high blood pressure
Many people in poor populations who suffer from non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension are treated with products that can be obtained locally, usually plants. Are these plants really effective? Are some of them better than others? This is what we are studying in Micronesia and Haiti, in collaboration with local researchers and students.