Homeopaths meet tomorrow for "AIDS" conference


On June 6, a group of deluded and dangerous people will meet to discuss how their brand of magic can heal the sick in developing countries. The Homeopathy for Developing Countries Conference in
Amersfoort, Netherlands will bring together quacks and misguided "healers" to immerse themselves in solipsistic self-congratulation whilst promoting a mysticism that could spell death for hundreds of the world's poorest people, if not more. They say:

Some homeopaths have even decided to permanently live in Africa or another region where medical help is scarce. These people do wonderful work because homeopathy, being cheap, safe and effective, is an ideal system of health for developing countries.

This homeopathy is not the antiquated feel-good therapy of the Islington soccer moms, it is a dangerous menace to the lives of people already suffering to an enormous degree. Alternative medicine is tolerated in the West because real, effective, evidence-based medicine is able to step in when the situation worsens. If anything, alt-med siphons off the worried well who would otherwise overburden doctors with their "bad circulation" or misaligned chakras.

In places like sub-Saharan Africa, however, the reality is far more grim. Deadly diseases such as malaria, TB, AIDS, influenza and infant diarrhoea exercise a frightening mortality. Giving placebos to these people will not work, and worse yet, it will prevent them seeking effective medicine. Spurred on by this tragedy in the making, the Voice of Young Science, a collection of PhD students and post-doctoral researchers, has written to Akpan Etukudo at the World Health Organisation, calling on the organisation to condemn the promotion of homeopathy as an effective medicine against these killer diseases:

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.

Bad Science blogger Gimpy has extensive coverage on one of those named in the letter, Jeremy Sherr, a homeopath gambling with human lives as he trials and distributes homeopathic preparations in Tanzania.

Alternative medicine in the West has provided us with a constant source of amusement and occasional infuriation, but transplanted to the developing world, these homeopaths may prove as deadly as the diseases they claim to treat.

More like this

If there's one form of pseudoscientific health care (if you can call it that) that rests on the most risibly implausible tenets, I'd have to say that it's homeopathy. Either that, or homeopathy and various "energy medicine" modalities would have to fight it out in a no woo barred cage match to the…
I almost feel sorry for homeopathy Jeremy Sherr. Almost. You see, he is busily learning a lesson that HIV/AIDS denialist Celia Farber learned a couple of weeks ago, namely that, unlike the fictional nation of Oceania in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, memory holes do not work very well in the…
If there is one thing that the ongoing Ebola outbreak in Africa has revealed to the world, it’s the full extent of quackery that is out there and advertised as being able to treat deadly diseases such as Ebola. The deadlier the disease, the more quackery is out there, amplified by the scariness…
By Liz Borkowski  Last week, Revere at Effect Measure used extremely drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR TB) as an example of why the world needs a resilient and robust public health infrastructure (and just a few days later, an article on an XDR outbreak in South Africa made it to the New York…

For homeopaths, one of the best things about working in very poor nations is that nobody's running around with clipboards to count the final results.

By Pierce R. Butler (not verified) on 04 Jun 2009 #permalink

In Autralia, a homeopath and his wife have been convicted of manslaughter of their infant daughter. She died of complications from eczema of all things. They were 'treating' her with drops.

Thanks for letting us know abbout this nasty little group, I really hope that the WHO steps in.

Just be careful not to call their treatments "bogus" eh!

Oh yeah? Try Inflammyar by Pekana - works better than any doctor prescribed pharmaceutical drug for pain. It's homeopathic. I have tried everything - toxic drugs - without relief. You have not read the scientific studies supporting homeopathy, have you?

Re an earlier post - Inflammyar is hardly homeopathic, the active ingredients are mainly 1X dilutions. It might better be described as a natural remedy.
Most Homeopathic remedies are often 10X to 30X dilutions. Above 24 X dilutions there is unlikely to be even one molecule of the original "active" compund left. You are basically treating someone with water or sugar pills. It is outrageous that homeopaths can inflict their "magic" on people with life threatening diseases.

Inflamyar ointment and drops by Pekana works better than any doctor prescribed medicine I have been given (with lots of intolerable side effects). Homeopathy is a proven science. Study the literature.


Do you know if Inflamyar good for pain relief for carpal tunnel syndrome? I've been looking for something effective for ages. Inflamyar seems to be widely available, but can you recommend an online seller?

Jan, to what literature are you referring? Homeopathy does not work any better than placebo. The psuedo-science behind it is nonsense.

It'd be great if it did work; a spoonful of sugar would cure everything. I'm afraid it doesn't.