Though medicinal plants’ benefits are known to the common Rwandans, their use is sought by rural communities and less in urban because many prospective users are still septic to their use due to the incertitude of their safety and required posology fearing for side effects related intoxication. Aware of the high demand for practitioners, Rwanda Ministry of Health formulated a regulatory framework through which traditional practitioners/healers do operate openly and provide their services to patients. Though a national regulatory framework is in place, it still faces implementation barriers at local level especially in addressing groups’ dynamics governing the sustainable use of medicinal plants. With support of the Ministry of Education through National Council of Sciences and Technologies (NCST), INES-Ruhengeri as an Institute of applied sciences with community engagement activities proposed this research project: “Phytochemistry and Anti-bacterial Analyses of Medicinal Plants in Rwanda”. The project objective was to provide preliminary knowledge of plants photochemistry and their antibacterial activities. This report presents the findings from different parts of 58 plants from 32 families collected from different parts of the country. The phytochemistry investigation highlighted the presence of phenols, flavonoids, tannins, alkaloids, glycosides, resins and saponins. Out of 58 plants tested, 45 revealed significant antimicrobial activity. The results of this project are expected to induce further research inquiries and eventually transfer the assessed plants to private actors for development and commercial production of plants derived drugs in Rwanda. In addition, the results are expected to contribute to the professionalization of traditional practitioners, improve service delivery in health sector.
The plant materials used in this study were collected from different sites of the Rwanda and were analyzed in INES-Ruhengeri laboratories. Pure bacterial strains utilized in the present study were freely provided by the National Reference Laboratory/Rwanda Biomedical Center. The National Council for Science and Technology of Rwanda supported the work under the Excellent Research Grants theme (NCST/ERC1/03).
We extend our gratitude to the Government of Rwanda through the National Council for Science and Technology (NCST) the Management and Staff of INES-Ruhengeri during the implementation of the project. We acknowledge the support of different Institutions and organizations, AGA Rwanda, UR-CST, UR-CMHS, RBC, NIRDA, local authorities at district, sector, cell or village levels and the population for their contributions for the success of this research.