Monday, June 1, 2009

British scientists ask WHO to condemn homeopathy for diseases such as HIV

British scientists question the effectiveness of homeopathic treatment for serious diseases such as HIV, TB, and malaria and are demanding that the WHO rid its use of it. Not only do they believe the treatment is ineffective, but they also fear that it is causing avoidable deaths as patients choose homeopathic treatment instead of effective medicines.

WHO currently works with many local organizations in Asia and Africa that provide homeopathic treatment through their respective areas. Homeopathic treatment refers to the treatment that involves diluting a concentrated sample of a disease with water until there are not traces left of the original compound and dispensing that to patients for ingestion. It is a very cheap method that reports few cases of bad side effects. However, the british scientists, along a significant number of those in the medical community, now claim that homeopathic treatments are fully ineffective and are only placebos.

The british scientists bring up social issues with their demand, ultimately asserting that continual support of homeopathic treatment is an exploitive gesture. They claim that those in the impoverished regions of Africa and Asia deserve effective treatment just like everyone else and distribution of homeopathic treatment exploits their poor social status. There's very little evidence proving the potency of homeopathic treatment and thus, WHO should make a conscious effort to provide more proven medical treatments to the regions.

One event the british scientists bring up in support of their argument that homeopathic treatments are ineffective and dangerous is the one that occurred under Thabo Mbeki's policies in South Africa that reportedly lead to 365,000 unnecessary deaths.

It intrigues me that the WHO still promotes homeopathic treatment through the selection of the organizations they support. I wonder what their reason behind it is, considering that in my nations, there are no laws governing homeopathic treatment and thus there is significant potential of abuse on the physician's or administrator's part. I wonder why the WHO, who is suppose to be the world's health defender, would still cling to practices that most medical experts claim are outdates, ineffective, and downright lethal. Are they aware they are potentially cutting corners? Like what I reported a few weeks ago, is there racism or class discrimination at play here? Or maybe the cultures they're administering the treatment to prefer homeopathic medicines? However, just because they prefer it doesn't mean it's okay to settle on sub-par treatment for them. If the WHO is really an equal opportunity type of organization, then shouldn't the level of treatment be the same for all patients? Especially since my tutorial closely examines the interplay of politics and semi-political international welfare institutes, news like this really interests because they suggest that goodwill, despite their public presentation, often is not the primary motivation for the institutions actions.


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