Saturday, July 8, 2017

Oh, patents! Traditional African medicine (1)

 Copyright @ Françoise Herrmann

In countries where trained physician density, measured as the ratio of 1 physician to 1000 [WHO(1), WHO(2)World Bank], is to the order of 1:20,000 compared to the ratio of 1:200-400 for traditional healthcare practitioners, it makes sense, according to Professor Dbodossou, founder of PRO.ME.TRA,  to consider, rather than to outlaw, the parallel indigenous healthcare system. Especially, when a given population favors, respects and trusts the healers, or when their practices are effective. Indeed, it makes sense to actively explore and research the vast depository of traditional indigenous knowledge and practices, in view of embracing all of the possibilities for healthcare services. According to the World Health Organization, the minimum standard of care is 23 doctors, nurses and midwives for a population of 10,000 [WHO (3)]

The non-profit organization PRO.ME.TRA International precisely seeks to recognize and promote indigenous practices and knowledge, in an effort to build bridges between both Western and traditional healthcare systems. PRO.ME.TRA International headquarters are located in Dakar, Senegal, on the West Coast of Africa. The organization was founded in 1971, with a mission to promote traditional African medical practices. Thus, PRO.ME.TRA conducts research, hosts conferences, maintains chapters in 28 countries, and is an officially recognized partner of Senegal’s public health institutions. PRO.ME.TRA also circulates various publications, including a bilingual (French and English) newsletter called Médecine Verte. Members of the organization’s International Board of Directors are all trained medical doctors.

The organization’s research agenda focuses on the use of indigenous knowledge and practices for the treatment of such diseases as AIDS, ebola, cancer, diabetes, viral hepatitis and various sorts of skin diseases. Several of the researched herbal therapies are already patented. 

The following non-exhaustive and hyperlinked list of patents includes WIPO, EPO and US patent families for each of several herbal therapies, including a list of 11 OA patents granted by the OAPI, the  intellectual property organization for French-speaking African countries

WIPO, EPO and US patents  
  • WO2016181214 (A1) ― 2016-11-17 - Compositions and methods for the treatment of ebola virus disease
  • US2012009289 (A1) ― 2012-01-12 - Water-soluble antiviral product containing cyperus articulatus, for the treatment and prevention of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (aids) and the variants thereof
  • WO2010112967 (A1) ― 2010-10-07 - Water-soluble antiviral product containing cyperus articulatus, for the treatment and prevention of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (aids) and the variants thereof 
  • EP2437765 (A1) ― 2012-04-11 - Water-soluble antiviral product containing cyperus articulatus, for the treatment and prevention of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (aids) and the variants thereof
  • US2012009286 (A1) ― 2012-01-12 - Water-soluble antiviral product containing momordica balsamina, for the treatment and prevention of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (aids) and the variants thereof
  • EP2437761 (A1) ― 2012-04-11 - Water-soluble antiviral product containing momordica balsamina, for the treatment and prevention of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (aids) and the variants thereof
  • WO2010112968 (A1) ― 2010-10-07 - Water-soluble antiviral product containing momordica balsamina, for the treatment and prevention of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (aids) and the variants thereof 
    Aframomum melegueta
  • EP2437766 (A1) ― 2012-04-11 - Water-soluble antiviral product containing aframomum melegueta, for the treatment and prevention of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (aids)
  • US2012052140 (A1) ― 2012-03-01 - Water-soluble antiviral product containing aframomum melegueta, for the treatment and prevention of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (aids)
  • WO2010112966 (A1) ― 2010-10-07 - Water-soluble antiviral product containing aframomum melegueta, for the treatment and prevention of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (aids) 
  • WO02062364 (A1) ― 2002-08-15 -Antiviral composition made from medicinal plants for combating hiv/aids
  • EP1357924 (A1) ― 2003-11-05 - Antiviral composition made from medicinal plants for combating hiv/aids
  • WO02094299 (A1) ― 2002-11-28 - Medicinal plant extracts used in the treatment of diabetic diseases
OAPI patents
Acacia senegalensis
  • OA12548 (A) ― 2006-06-05 - Nouveau produit pharmaceutique à partir d'écorce d'Acacia Seyal et son utilisation pour le traitement des hémorroides
  • OA12547 (A) ― 2006-06-05 - Nouveau produit pharmaceutique à partir d'écorce de Euphorbia balsamifera et son utilisation pour le traitement des hémorroides
  • OA12546 (A) ― 2006-06-05 - Nouveau produit pharmaceutique à partir d'écorce de Guiera senegalensis et son utilisation pour le traitement de hémorroides.
  • OA12545 (A) ― 2006-06-05 - Nouveau produit pharmaceutique à partir d'écorce de Leptadenia hastata et son utilisation pour le traitement des hémorroides
  • OA12439 (A) ― 2006-05-22 - Nouveau produit pharmaceutique obtenu à partir d'écorce de l'Acacia senegalensis et son utilisation dans le traitement des dermatoses
  • OA12438 (A) ― 2006-05-22 - Nouveau produit pharmaceutique obtenu à partir d'écorce de Lannea acida et son utilisation dans le traitement des dermatoses
  • OA11763 (A) ― 2005-07-19 - Produit pharmaceutique obtenu à partir de Prosopisafricana et son utilisation dans le traitement des maladies diabétiques
  • OA11762 (A) ― 2005-07-19 - Produit pharmaceutique obtenu à partir de Sclerocarya birrea et son utilisation dans le traitement des maladies diabétiques 
  • OA11761 (A) ― 2005-07-19 - Produit pharmaceutique obtenu à partir de Moringa oleifera et son utilisation dans le traitement des maladies diabétiques  
  • OA11720 (A) ― 2005-01-26 - Produit pharmaceutique obtenu à partir de l'Anacardium occidentale et son utilisation dans le traitement des maladies diabétiques
  • OA11602 (A) ― 2004-07-30 - Nouvelles compositions antivirales à usage thérapeutique pour le traitement de la maladie du syndrome d'immuno déficience acquise (SIDA) et ses variante

References
OAPI – Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle
PRO.ME.TRA
PRO.ME.TRA – Médecine verte
PRO.ME.TRA - Publications
WHO (1) – Density of physicians (per 1000 population latest available year)
WHO (2)- Density of doctors, nurse and midwives in 49 priority countries
WHO (3) - Achieving the health-related MDGs. It takes a workforce!
World Bank = Physicians per 1000

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