Editorial

Increasingly, modern biomedicine despite its dazzling progress reveals its inability to meet the basic needs of the global population in health related issues.
 
The environmental damage , with the ensuing energy and social crisis as its background, have led health authorities in different countries to consider the opportunity to reassess traditional medicine and pharmacopoeia to incorporate their appropriate elements in the primary health care systems of the populations under their concern.

Is with this vision that TRAMIL network appeared at the beginning of the 80's, integrating researchers and health personnel convinced of the usefulness of a Pan Caribbean inclusive health system. Since then, the network has grown steadily to the point of having in its list today almost every country in the area.

The reasons that have prompted such a congregation are easy to imagine: establishment of a critical mass of researchers, contributing shared energy, logistics, networking, etc...

But the most important reason is that there is a strong cultural convergence in this geographical area. The tortured history of this great global crossroad, where various populations crossed - European, African, Asian, Oriental, Indian and American Indian - and the resulting product of their blending led to the emergence of a true traditional way of thinking, expressed by naturistic cultural representations relating to health and therapeutics.

Despite the particularity of certain forms observed, medicine and pharmacopoeia of the Caribbean are based on the same basic principles, with significant features that include:  a medicine who intends to work frequently on the whole, using recipes in line with the vision of the body and the universe and a practice, whose effectiveness depends not only on a technique applied to the body, but takes into account especially the character of the relationship with the environment, both socially and culturally. The process of developing medicines - which include both pharmacological properties and its symbolic effectiveness – results from these principles.

Our network, from its origins, took a clear position with respect to this consubstantial cultural aspect, knowing that this set of diffused, diluted, strongly overlooked, widely shared ancestral knowledges - an important feature of our traditional medicine for others – has never been the subject of extensive research or doctrinal debates and prosecutions.

Through an original and unique approach, focused on a health problem, not on the ingredients used, TRAMIL capitalizes a significant amount of this Caribbean natural knowledge collected during ethnopharmacological surveys: 803 plant species, of which 366 have significant use, more than 700 TRIGS conducted in various university research centers ...

Breaking the monopoly of the systematic use of biomedicine, usually imposed by inertia means to convince users, starting with health personnel, of the validity - including the biological effectiveness and safety – of this set of empirical wisdom. This is one of the reasons that led us to use the same standardized tests used in biomedicine, despite running the possible risk of not corresponding exactly with the desired therapeutic effect.
 
Furthermore, our network gives great importance to the dissemination of research findings from our laboratories to populations where the original traditional natural knowledge came from because it is very important that they take charge and take full advantage of modernity. The restitution to the base takes into account both the knowledge of the audience we speak to as well as the diversity of the sociocultural contexts.

A flexible structural staggering - the CETRA for the development of the editorial line and the workshops TRADIF for the adaptation of dissemination programs in each country - is aimed at improving our effectiveness.

TRAMIL scientific network, owned by the Caribbean people and supported by them, is a tool that allows them to participate in the great struggle for the preservation of biodiversity.
 
Emmanuel NOSSIN
Pharmacists /ethnopharmacologists
TRAMIL General Coordinator (since 2008)