Topic: Use of Vernonia Plant for Home-based Malaria-treatment in Rural Uganda: The case of Nyimbwa sub-county, Luweero District.
Key Words: Malaria-treatment, Vernonia amygdalina, anti-plasmodium, dosage, concoction,
Despite Government and NGO intervention, malaria is still a major killer disease in Uganda even when local medicinal plants like vernonia and Dutchman’s pipe are used as anti-plasmodia administration to malaria-patients.
A descriptive study was done to gauge the availability and use Vernonia plant. Eighteen villages were randomly selected from six parishes of Nyimbwa sub-county. Some 180 respondents from ten homesteads from the 18 villages were randomly selected to respond to a questionnaire.
Six medicine practitioners were interviewed and systematic observation was done to assess the availability of Vernonia in the homesteads.
Vernonia and Dutchman’s pipe grow widely especially among the homesteads of the Baganda. Respondents were aware that Vernonia can be used for managing malaria.
Different methods were used to prepare Vernonia and Duchman’s pipe for oral administration. The dosage and frequency of intake were inconsistent and arbitrarily basing on convenience. This, might affect the efficacy of the plants as anti-malarial medicine.
Respondents were willing to domesticate the plants especially if the venture would generate income, and prevent extinction if left to grow in the wild due expanding population and land use. More phyto-chemical research is needed to determine how the various methods of preparation affect the active ingredients.
Further research is needed to determine pharmaco-dynamic properties, clinical trials and detailed description of effects and side-effects of the concoctions from the different dosage and frequency of administration so that people could use them for management of malaria at the household level.