Africa: Tanzania on the Brink of Discovering Prostate Cancer Cure

health and science

Arusha — Tanzania is likely to be the first country in the world to discover the ultimate cure for Prostate Cancer. Researchers at Science and Technology Institution here are on the brink of discovering the cure for the deadly prostate cancer, through the herbal-based medical concoctions derived from some indigenous trees found in Tanga Region.

The natural remedy will also prevent cases of prostate enlargement, cure other sexually transmitted diseases and eliminate surgical operations on glands. The study on 'Pranus Africana' tree in the Magamba Forest in Lushoto may offer remedy for the prostate cancer currently taking toll on male population across the globe.

Scholars at the Arusha-based Nelson Mandela African Institute for Science and Technology have been working on their study for six months now and according to the institute's Deputy Vice- Chancellor, Dr Mussa Chacha, the study is bearing fruits.

"The tree, which grows naturally in many parts of the country, is on the verge of extinction due to harvest but the Magamba Forest has plenty of it and local residents have been using its barks for treatment... the tree is believed to totally cure prostate infections, including cancer," said Dr Chacha.

It has been discovered that the Pranus Africanas bark is also used by locals to cure fevers, malaria, wound dressing, arrow poison, stomach pain, purgative, kidney disease, appetite stimulant, gonorrhoea and insanity. It is also a rather large tree by any dimension. The Pygeum is an evergreen tree native to forest regions.

It can grow to approximately 45 metres high. The thick leaves are oblong in shape while the flowers are small and white. Pygeum fruit is the red berry, resembling the cherry when ripe. Researchers at Nelson Mandela Institute describe the log as having the bark which is red, brown, or grey in colour and is the part of the plant used for medicinal purposes, including curing cancer.

But, how long will the research take before the results are put into production? The Vice- Chancellor wasn't sure when, but pointed out that usually such studies take long to cover all possible angles.

"We are at the stage of validation of ethnomedical information," said the don. Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training Minister Professor Joyce Ndalichako visited the Institute over the weekend and was informed about the ambitious medicinal project.

"The government will continue supporting research and innovation as well as related institutions by injecting money and resources to science oriented programmes," said Prof Ndalichako.

The Minister explained that the African Development Bank (AfDB) has granted 8.3bn/- for the Nelson Mandela Institute and the funds will further equip the NM-AIST laboratories, pay for student scholarships and other development projects.

Authors: All Africa

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