The Ivory Foundation supports “Jardins du Monde”, one of the winners of the 2019 call for projects, for a project aimed at improving the health status of the poorest populations by promoting the rational use of medicinal and nourishing plants among young people from Burkina Faso.

The health context and the health system in Burkina Faso are particularly fragile. The isolation of rural areas and poverty mean that the majority of Burkinabé do not always manage to treat common diseases that could be treated

“Fake medicines” (a term which includes counterfeit medicines, expired medicines and the sale of medicines for a disease other than that of the patient) are abundant in local markets. Ineffective or even harmful, they are cheaper than drugs in pharmacies and are seen as an alternative by the population.

However, botanists, ethnobotanists and especially local populations and institutions have identified many plants with food properties (vegetable plants but also leafy vegetables, tubers, cereals, bush fruits, etc.) or medicinal. Often, edible plants used in the daily diet also have medicinal properties, thanks to the molecules they contain.

These plants are easily used in culinary preparation (common recipes) or simple medicinal (decoction, inhalation, infusion, poultice, etc.) and their use is ancient, but they face several threats: the rapid increase in population and its spreading out, the persistence of the use of firewood and the land grabbing lead to the loss of these plants.

Likewise, the loss of traditional knowledge linked to the rural exodus of young people, and the massive arrival of poor quality imported food products (canned food, oils, fast food, etc.) are upsetting health habits and that prevailed until then.

This project aims to promote the use of medicinal and food plants, as well as to raise awareness and train young people in good hygiene and food practices, in particular young girls and future mothers.