Homeopathy convention – Linking research with education and clinical practices News: 9th April is celebrated as World homeopathic day to commemorate the birth anniversary of its founder, Samuel Hahnemann, who himself was a German physician. What is homeopathy?
Growth of homeopathy
- Homeopathy is a system of medicine practiced worldwide in about 80 countries in different forms.
- In India, it is recognized along with other traditional medical systems like Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani and Siddha. They are collectively known as AYUSH.
- The government has established a separate ministry for the growth of these systems called the Ministry of AYUSH.
- There are about 231 homeopathic medical colleges in India from which 15000 doctors pass out every year.
- At present, there are 300,000 registered homeopathic doctors in India registered with different state governments.
- They constitute about 37% of the total medical workforce of the country.
- 80% of these work in the private sector.
How is the quality of homeopathic medicines ensured?
- The homeopathic medical colleges have grown exponentially from 15-20 medical colleges at the time of independence to 231 today.
- People are shifting from allopathic treatment to homeopathic treatment as the effect of the latter lasts longer.
- In a study conducted in Delhi, it was found out that people have chronic illnesses tend to prefer homeopathy and people with emergency issues prefer allopathy though they shift to homeopathy after sometime.
- It was also seen that patients take homeopathic medicines alongside allopathic medicines to prevent multiple use of allopathic medicines.
- People using homeopathic medicines were quite educated.
Initiatives were taken by the government
- There is a structured system for registering homeopathic medicines in India.
- The Drug Controller General of India who regulates allopathy also regulate homeopathic medicines.
- Drug and cosmetic act provides for the regulation of homeopathic medicines.
- There are good manufacturing processes notified by the government which all industries manufacturing homeopathic medicines are required to follow.
- Period checks are performed by Drug control authorities to ensure the quality of homeopathic medicines.
Research in Homeopathy
- By creating a separate ministry called AYUSH, decision making has fastened due to a dedicated minister and a secretary to sort out the problems in the area.
- Health fairs are regularly conducted in different states at district and state levels where awareness about health is given by advising about the kind of food to be taken, how exercise helps and how to increase AYUSH medicines along with other ongoing medicines of people.
- Funds are also provided to develop the infrastructure of the homeopathic system.
- Government is also encouraging research and development by collaborating with multi-disciplinary systems.
Homeopathic medical colleges
- The homeopathic council has identified certain areas where conventional medicines have not developed properly like dengue encephalitis, multi-drug resistance etc.
- In non-communicable diseases, it was found that a patient develops the symptoms of disease only after a certain period following the manifestation of the disease. It is seen in diabetes, cancer, hypertension etc. So, researchers are trying to prevent such NCDs by the usage of homeopathic medicines.
- Researchers are also working on drug standardization to improve the quality of medicines.
- The literature of homeopathy is also being validated and revalidated according to modern times.
- The focus is on increasing the success rates in homeopathy and to produce confident doctors from homeopathic medical colleges.
- There is separate statutory body in India called Central council of Homeopathy to look after homeopathic medical colleges.
- The focus is on linking homeopathic education and clinical practice with research.
Acceptance of homeopathy in the world
- Studies have been carried out for treatment of patients suffering from dengue, encephalitis, etc. using homeopathy which has been found to be effective and even reduced the hospital stay of the patient.
- People taking homeopathic medicines are also found to have reduced the intensity of the disease.
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- Homeopathy was discovered in Europe about 250 years back.
- The founder himself was an allopathic doctor who realized that a treatment mechanism should be available which is gentle, has minimum side effects, should be easily consumable and human experiments should be carried out before using the medicine in humans.
- It was a time when the medical system was not much developed. There were no vaccines, no preventive measures and humanity were in the grip of many infectious diseases.
- The discovery of homeopathy was found to give a new direction to allopathy and hence quickly spread to the US, all throughout Europe and Asia.
- So, homeopathy has its presence in 70-80 countries now.
- Research is underway to develop and spread homeopathic medicines to all countries.