WHO rejects homeopathy for serious diseases
Sun, 23 Aug 2009 12:15:35 GMT
While homeopathy is becoming more common across the globe, WHO officials have warned that the method is not an effective treatment for life-threatening illnesses.
Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine that treats patients with heavily diluted preparations, which are thought to cause effects similar to that of the main disease.
Following the rapid growth of its use particularly in the developing world, a group of medics from the UK and Africa known as Voice of Young Science Network wrote a letter to the WHO in June, urging officials to condemn the promotion of homeopathy for severe health conditions.
"When homeopathy stands in place of effective treatment, lives are lost," noted the group, adding that the technique does not protect individuals from, or treat, such diseases.
In response to the letter, WHO officials urged individuals suffering from conditions such as TB, infant diarrhea, influenza, malaria and HIV to not rely on homeopathic treatments.
Officials claimed that they have not found any evidence to date that homeopathy has had any benefits for these patients.
"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," said WHO officials.
They added that undermining the application of treatments, developed through rigorous clinical testing to save lives, by promoting alternatives is irresponsible and dangerous.
WHO, therefore, urged healthcare workers to treat patients with proven treatments rather than by giving false hope'.