Creating Waves of Awareness
14th August 2015 would go down as a remarkable day, as history was made by resumption of diplomatic ties between USA and Cuba after a lapse of 54 acrimonious years. It is interesting to note that the three marines who lowered the flag then would see in their lifetime the hoisting of the flag on this day in person.
I would like to share my own thoughts on this great occasion, especially in relation to Homeopathy, which in my opinion is bound to be vying as the main alternative to conventional medicine in times ahead. Homeopathy already serves as a form of medicine in many countries of the world, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Japan, USA, south America and many more including Cuba.
Cuba has been under severe trade and economic sanctions for more than half century which undermined its growth as a country. Due to “sanctions” its health industry was sort of stifled. It could not advance as much as it would have liked to.
It is not my intention to go into detail of the imposed “sanctions”, but I would like to mention that due to sanctions Cuba had to look and think out of the box, especially in health care for its masses.
It could not import medicines or establish a pharmaceutical industry as much as it desired. So it decided to think in terms of homeopathy, which was affordable and could be adopted under their prevalent condition. One of their main concerns were epidemics, which plagued them, besides other health issues and diseases.
Let me give a short history of homeopathy in Cuba and how it helped them in overcoming national health issues with imposed sanctions.
Rudimentary homeopathy existed there, but it was in 1993 that Brazilian homeopaths offered the first formal training in medical homeopathy in Havana.
Today there are more than 992 homeopaths in Cuba, 320 physicians,141 dentist, 161 pharmacist, and 220 veterinary surgeons in Havana. 153 physicians 100 dental surgeons, and 52 pharmacist have completed a one year diploma course in homeopathy (this data must have changed by 2015).
There is a national curriculum coordinated by a national academic group; and a peer group evaluates the effectiveness of teachers. Collaborations at the postgraduate level have come from Mexico, Belgium, Brazil, and Italy. Development is hampered by a shortage of literature and remedies, particularly in the hospital environment.
Homeopathy in Cuba has come a long way since 1992. Now all Havana municipalities offer homeopathic facilities through family doctors and other health centers. Most polyclinics offer homeopathy also. It is interesting to note that 141 dentist collectively have performed 667 extractions with aid of “ homeopathic anesthesia” usually Hypericum 200. In 1998 there were 32,219 homeopathic consultation in Havana and 25,678 in the rest of Cuba.
The International Airport has a facility for emergency treatment with Homeopathy. They have 49 different remedies, with the most popular being Baryta Carb, and Nux Vomica. In an outbreak of Varicella, resolution of the condition was halved to 8 days with use of individualized remedies.
Swamp Fever, or Leptospirosis is a major problem in Cuba. Each year there is an epidemic of swamp fever. As Cuba did not have much infrastructure for pharmaceutical industry its Finlay Institute, a Cuba research foundation, developed a homeopathic nosode for Leptospirosis. This was based on the “like cures like”principle and was administered In a wide scale throughout Cuba as a preventive treatment. In 2008, two and a half million people who were most susceptible to the disease were treated with two doses of remedy 2 to 9 days apart. The result of this treatment was spectacular and catapulted Cuba on the map of homeopathic world. The typical rate of infection when vaccination and antibiotics are used is few thousand cases per year, whereas with the nosode, only 10 cases were reported among 2.5 million treated. It proved to be most economical.
Now with relations warming up between U.S and Cuba I am hopeful that tourism is bound to flourish between the two countries.
I would refer here to special type of tourism, or “ medical tourism” which I envisage to take roots with the passage of time. Cuba has a good homeopathic system, maybe not world class, but this system has been delivering wellness to its citizens. It has a good infrastructure in the making for delivering homeopathic treatment to the needy.
In 2004 Michael Moore produced the movie “Fahrenheit 911” and had taken a group of tourists who needed medical attention to Cuba. These citizens were unable to get the proper medical care in the USA, as the healthcare system in USA is not people friendly unlike Canada. The USA medical system serves the well to do and those who have health insurance, or those who can afford to pay for it. Millions in the USA are hard put for medical and health care. The patients who had gone with Michael were given medical care according to their needs, varying from X rays, tooth problems, and many more serious issues. They received the treatment at a fraction of the cost, were provided with follow up medication and came back satisfied.
I now foresee that with passage of time many in America would like to explore treatment options either with the conventional system or with homeopathic system by taking advantage of the distance of 80 miles from the shores of Florida. With tourism opening up and with commercial flights to and from USA, it could prove to be a very economical “ medical tourism.” Another factor I see is the introduction of cruise liners in not too distant future. Miami is an international hub of cruise liners and sooner than later there is bound to be regular sailings from Miami.
In my opinion medical tourism with an emphasis on homeopathy is something to be explored by all concerned. Cuban homeopaths have to show they can deliver by having articles and their clinics advertised, especially to large Latin American populations in Florida and other adjoining states.
REF: Internet search/TV news