A team of medical doctors in RDCongo, Jerome Munyangi and Michel Idumbo, have run randomized clinical trials on a large scale in the Maniema province with the participation of some 1000 malaria infected patients. The trials were run in conformity with the WHO procedures and compared Artemisia annua and Artemisia afra with ACTs (Coartem and ASAQ). For all the parameters tested herbal treatment was significantly better than ACTs: faster clearance for fever and parasitemia, absence of parasites on day 28 for 99.5% of the Artemisia treatments and 79.5% only for the ACT treatments. A total absence of side effects was evident for the treatments with the plants, but for the 498 patients treated with ACTs, 210 suffered from diarrhea, and/or nausea, pruritus, hypoglycemia etc. The efficiency was equivalent for Artemisia annua and Artemisia afra. More important even is the observation for the total absence of gametocytes after 7 days treatment with the herb. A tremendous hope for malaria eradication. The results have been communicated to the local health authorities, and to the Ministries of Health and Research in the RDCongo who were supportive of these trials. The draft of a paper is almost ready and will be submitted to a peer reviewed scientific journal.
The financial support for the trials comes from the association MoreforLess in Paris.
This is not the only clinical trial run in 2015 with Artemisia annua aqueous infusions. In Benin the University of Abomey, together with the Universities of Louvain and of Liege, run a large scale trial with Artemisia annua grown in Benin. The trial involved 130 malaria infected patients. Fever clearance was evident after 48 hours and parasitemia decreased by 70% already on the first day, and remained 100 % absent on days 14 and 28. No side effects were noticed. The research team from Benin strongly recommends for African countries to replace the expensive and now often ineffective ACTs by Artemisia annua tea (H Zime-Diawara et al., Int J Biol Chem Sci 2015, 9-2, 692-702).
These results confirm results obtained by the association IFBV-Belherb and her partners in many small scale trials in several African countries over the last 6 years. Therapeutic efficiency always was > 95% and prophylaxy was noticed and documented. The abstracts or peer reviewed papers of all these trials are available on request.
Jérôme Munyangi, Michel Idumbo, Lucile Cornet-Vernet, Pierre Lutgen