Creating Waves of Awareness
WHO Warns HIV, TB, Malaria Patients to Stay Away from Homeopathy
Category: General Health News
Sunday, August 23, 2009 at 11:03:56 AM
he World Health Organization (WHO) has warned people with HIV, TB and malaria to stay away from the use of homeopathic medicines
The WHO's statement came following concerns of young researchers who fear that encouraging the use of homeopathy in developing countries could risk people's lives.
A group called Voice of Young Science Network, which is part of the charity Sense About Science, had also campaigned for "evidence-based" care.he BBC quoted Dr Mario Raviglione, director, Stop TB department, WHO, as saying: "Our evidence-based WHO TB treatment/management guidelines, as well as the International Standards of Tuberculosis Care do not recommend use of homeopathy."
Speaking on the use of Homeopathy to treat diarrhoea in children, a spokesman for the WHO department of child and adolescent health and development said: "We have found no evidence to date that homeopathy would bring any benefit.
"Homeopathy does not focus on the treatment and prevention of dehydration - in total contradiction with the scientific basis and our recommendations for the management of diarrhoea."
Medics from the UK and Africa had written to the WHO in June asking the body to discourage the use of homeopathic treatment. They had said: "We are calling on the WHO to condemn the promotion of homeopathy for treating TB, infant diarrhoea, influenza, malaria and HIV.
"Homeopathy does not protect people from, or treat, these diseases.
"Those of us working with the most rural and impoverished people of the world already struggle to deliver the medical help that is needed.
"When homeopathy stands in place of effective treatment, lives are lost."
Dr Robert Hagan, a biomolecular science researcher at the University of St Andrews and a member of Voice of Young Science Network, as saying: "We need governments around the world to recognise the dangers of promoting homeopathy for life-threatening illnesses.
"We hope that by raising awareness of the WHO's position on homeopathy we will be supporting those people who are taking a stand against these potentially disastrous practices."
Dr Nick Beeching, a specialist in infectious diseases at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, said: "Infections such as malaria, HIV and tuberculosis all have a high mortality rate but can usually be controlled or cured by a variety of proven treatments, for which there is ample experience and scientific trial data.
"There is no objective evidence that homeopathy has any effect on these infections, and I think it is irresponsible for a healthcare worker to promote the use of homeopathy in place of proven treatment for any life-threatening illness."