Research initiative on traditional antimalarial methods (RITAM)
Conference Report on the First International Meeting of RITAM, Tumaini University of the Health Sciences, Moshi, Tanzania, 8-11 December, 1999
One of the most effective antimalarial drugs - artemisinin - originates from the Artemisia annua plant. The plant, which grows in various parts of the world, has been used for centuries by traditional healers in China to combat fever
In December 1999, experts in traditional medicine research and policy for malaria met in Moshi, Tanzania, at the Inaugural Meeting of RITAM - the Research Initiative on Traditional Antimalarial Methods. Co-sponsored by TDR and The Global Initiative for Traditional Systems (GIFTS) of Health, University of Oxford, UK, the aim of the meeting was to formulate a strategy for the effective, evidence-based use of traditional medicines in malaria control programmes.
Meeting delegates established four specialist groups in policy, advocacy and funding; preclinical studies; clinical development; and repellence and vector control. Each group developed targets and research priorities, which formed part of five main outputs from the meeting:
- Targets for making a significant contribution to the control of malaria through the use of traditional anti-malarial methods.
- Methods for achieving these targets, including ethical guidelines.
- An implementation strategy for moving this field ahead quickly and soundly, and for putting research findings into practice.
- Linkages established between researchers working on traditional antimalarial methods, based on agreed research priorities, and designed to avoid unnecessary replication.
- Strengthening the RITAM database of current knowledge on traditional herbal anti-malarial methods.
This report provides a background, overview and objectives of the meeting, and gives details of the major outcomes. Members of the specialist groups are also listed.