An investigation has revealed that some homeopathic clinics advice people on not taking conventional anti-malaria drugs in high-risk parts of the world.
People planning on taking vacations to the tropical places are being warned to avoid homeopathic remedies that are claiming to prevent malaria, after several travellers contracted the potentially fatal disease.
It was reported that every year almost around 2 million Britons travel to various parts in the world where there is malaria and other tropical diseases are rampant. It was found that largely people fell ill, as they had not taken any anti-malarial drugs. Statistics have shown that every year almost 2000 of the travellers return having contracted the disease.
The doctors have also begun finding that in many cases the patients had taken homeopathic remedies instead of licensed medicines. Some of the travellers have claimed that they were told that the homeopathic protection could be used instead of conventional medicine, and that they were explained in those clinics that their remedies were sufficient to protect them against malaria.
Dr Ron Behrens who runs a travel clinic at the London Hospital for Tropical Diseases said that he has seen several patients who thought they were safe because they were taking homeopathic remedies to protect them. He said, "We've certainly had patients admitted to our unit with falciparum, the malignant form of malaria, who have been taking homeopathic remedies, and without a doubt the fact that they were taking them and not effective drugs was the reason they had malaria."
Dr Behrens stated that some homeopaths were offering many travellers from UK to places in the malaria belt an easy alternative but a false hope. He said, "Sub Saharan Africa is a high risk of malaria. If they got it and they weren't immediately diagnosed and treated they could die and that claim would actually put their lives at risk." He further stated, "We have treated people who thought they were protected by homeopathic medicines and contracted malaria. The messages given by some homeopaths are inaccurate and place lives at risk."
Increased reports and news on these kind of cases had prompted investigators and scientific campaigners from 'Sense about Science' to conduct an undercover research into 10 randomly chosen homeopathic practices from among the Internet and to issue a warning to the holiday makers visiting tropical places.
The Faculty of Homeopathy meanwhile said yesterday, that they did not recommend any homeopathic remedies for the prevention of malaria. Peter Fisher, the clinical director of the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital, said, "There is no published evidence to support the use of homeopathy in the prevention of malaria."