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Sunday 26 February 2006
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SOUTH AFRICA: Efficacy of herbal AIDS/TB remedies examined


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]


JOHANNESBURG, 7 February (PLUSNEWS) - South African and US academics are to research the efficacy of traditional medicines in the fight against tuberculosis (TB), malaria and HIV/AIDS.

The announcement was made during a recent seminar at the University of Cape Town (UCT) to examine the role of traditional medicines and herbal remedies in infectious disease control.

"Two million people die of TB globally every year ... there are eight million new infections annually and it affects a third of the world's population," UCT immunologist Dr Muazzam Jacobs told the local Cape Argus newspaper.

Given the wide range of medicinal drugs that originate from natural sources - up to 50 percent - the researchers were optimistic that their studies would yield some advancement in treating the three diseases.

Approximately 4,000 of South Africa's 24,000 plant species are already being used for their medicinal properties, 27 of them in the treatment of TB.

[ENDS]

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· AIDS Media Center
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· International HIV/AIDS Alliance


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