Jamaican Research Prostate Cancer Breakthrough Reinforces The Importance Of A National Culture Of Entrepreneurship
In September this year Bajan blogger Green Antilles reported that Jamaican scientist Professor Henry Lowe was invited to make a special presentation at the Eighth Annual Congress of International Drug Discovery Science and Technology (IDDST) in Beijing, China. Professor Lowe’s presentation was based on “research work on Jamaican medicinal plants, particularly his recent work with Tillandsia recurvata, otherwise called ball moss, which has demonstrated potent anti-cancer activities during testing.” This week, just three months later, Professor Lowe announced to the world that “he had developed a formula that can reduce and eliminate prostate cancer, the number one cause of cancer deaths among males” and that “he has forged a partnership with the largest nutraceutical company in China, which will distribute the formula in that Asian country.”
Medical research has long indicated that there is a higher incidence of contracting prostate cancer among men of African descent. A prominent Barbadian urologist has been quoted as saying, “In this part of the world (Caribbean), not only is prostate cancer the number one solid organ cancer in men, but it is the number one cancer killer in men”. Data collection on the penetration of the disease in Barbados appears to be sketchy but there is enough to suggest it is high in Barbados.
BU is also pleased that such a significant discovery was made by a so-called ‘Third World’ nation located in the English Caribbean. Jamaica despite its economic woes which has led to an inevitable degradation in its social landscape continues to demonstrate a level of entrepreneurship which is the envy of many. If Barbados possessed what seems to be Jamaica’s innate quality of entrepreneurism supported by our strong governance structures both government and NGO which we are proud of in Barbados, we would be world beaters!
Yet another sidebar to this story is the involvement of China. Despite its detractors, China is the economic power house of the world with a huge domestic market which can determine the economic success of the Jamaican discovery for the prostate cancer cure. Again the approach of Jamaica to co-opt the support of China on a research project which has global influence contrasts starkly with Barbados trying to attract the Chinese tourist. According to Professor Lowe, “We will be working toward seizing a five per cent share of the global nutraceutical industry within the next two years, which translates to a multi-billion-dollar local industry — approximately $726 billion”.
The world will continue to look on with keen interest!