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We decided the difference is evidence : If you take a natural remedy and you test it and it works, it's now also a medicine, so we came up with the soup project. We asked kids to bring in the traditional soup their family would make when someone was not feeling well.
Kids bought in the lumpiest soups even though we told them not to, the idea was to try and get some kind of clear extract from it.
We're currently at a sort of crossroads in global malaria control, we've had decades of progress in reducing the number of deaths from the turn of the millennium. But we've kind of reached this point where we sort of stalled in our progress and there are some worrying signs of emerging drug resistance, just like you have antibiotic resistance to bacteria.
The malaria parasite is one of the very ancient parasites, it's a very complicated creature : it can change its shape, it can change its biology, and that makes it much harder to develop new drugs and new therapeutics.
One of the soups that was most effective was a vegetarian soup with a fermented cabbage base, and you know, people do sing the praises of kimchi and other fermented cabbages, so maybe there's something in that.
But that shouldn't deter us from looking, it just shows that there may be medicines yet to be discovered and we shouldn't turn our eyes up at traditional medicine just because it's not tested yet.
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