Sierra Leone health boost from tropical Moringa plant
During Healthcare Global's look back at the biggest news of 2011, we found this story from September...
People living in Sierra Leone, a country with one of the worst healthcare systems in the world, are being advised by the government to take supplements from a tropical plant.
A native to India, the Moringa plant is said to be a ‘tree of life’ and can reportedly help prevent and cure over 300 illnesses and diseases, including malnutrition.
The Moringa plant, which is thought to have arrived in Sierra Leone in 2001, is available in a number of forms including oil and powder and its use is heavily increasing in the African continent.
Apparently, even the President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Koroma, is a big fan of the alternative medicine and takes Moringa oil every day.
While talking to French news agency AFP recently, Sam Sesay, the Agriculture Minister of Sierra Leone, said the Moringa plant was “the most nutritious plant on earth and each and every part of it has nutritional and medicinal values that have the propensity to cure over 300 diseases, including hypertension and diabetes.”
He added: “Very soon, the cultivation of the Moringa tropical plant in Sierra Leone may likely put some medical practitioners out of business.”
As well as improving the health of those living in Sierra Leone, the plant has also been praised for creating job opportunities and advancing development in the country too.
Alimamy Lahai, who sells Moringa door-to-door, told AFP: “It is a profitable business as sales are now high given the recent publicity of the product.
“I sell the powder which is packaged in sachets for about two dollars and the teabags for about four dollars.”
Meanwhile, Jimmy Lagbo, a tribal headmen in Sierra Leone, told the news agency: “We see it as a cure-all and many folks in my community are no longer visiting the local clinics as they are now using moringa teabags or sprinkling the powder on their daily meals.”