48. Improving the quality of education with the cultivation of Artemisia annua in schools
Duration: 12 months
Promotor: Christ Foundation School for Life ( CFSL)
Beneficiaries: 4 Schools/ center responsible for seed reproduction
Total budget: € 3 390
External Funding: € 2 639
Malaria is a significant burden for quality education in the DRC in many ways: repeated absenteeism(teachers and pupils alike), weakened concentration capacities in class for sick pupils, lower cognitive capacities for children victim of several malaria crisis in their young age, high health expenses at the expense of education-related investments, etc. The conventional drug (polytherapies) are inaccessible to a large section of the population due to their high cost and problems of availability, especially in remote areas. The plant Artemisia annuahas been used in China for over 2000 years to treat malaria. The plant’s efficacy has been confirmed in several African countries, and a number of schools and companies using it have recorded reductions in health expenses by up to 80-90%.
The project consists invinitiating the cultivation of Artemisia annua in 4 schools and university gardens of the municipalities of N’sele, Mount Ngafula and Maluku in Kinshasa. Experience in several countries shows that the introduction of the plant is correlated to significant improvements in academic performances. It also allows for important reductions in the health expenses of the schools and the pupils’ families.
This project is the first step towards the dissemination of the crop in schools across the DRC, based on IDAY’s experience in other African countries where Artemisia annua has been introduced in schools with promising results. This first phase will focus on familiarising a series of teachers with the cultivation methods of Artemisia annua and its use, while also producing seed and cuttings to be distributed to surrounding schools. In a later stage, the scale up of the projectcould be supported by technical assistance from students coming from countries where they have acquired experience with growing and using the crop (separate funding).
The project comprises an advocacy component by IDAY-DRC to convince the authorities to support the extension of the project once its efficacy has been demonstrated as well as IDAY-DRC’s commend of the cultivation techniques.
> Contribute to combating malaria and other debilitating infectious diseases, thereby improving the quality of education.
> Producing seeds and cuttings in 4 schools and universities IDAY-DRC members have a good commend of the cultivation techniques of Artemisia annua. The teaching staff of the partner institutions is trained.
> The authorities of Kinshasa and of the Ministry of Education are sensitized to the added-value of Artemisia annua for education and health, and to the relevance of fostering the cultivation of in schools.