There is a fine piece of investigative journalism in today’s Independent from Melanie Newman and Alex Chepkoit who have investigated the Abha Light Clinic in Kenya, where homeopaths have been advising patients not to take anti-retroviral drugs to stave off HIV, instead suggesting that homeopathy is a suitable substitute.
A homeopath claiming to treat HIV/AIDS with sugar pills is sadly not an isolated event. Homeopathic societies have featured guest speakers on the subject, funded unethical trials, and even awarded fellowships to those who believe that the AIDS epidemic can be halted through homeopathy.
This is a belief that runs deep in the profession.
In response to this expose, homeopaths on internet forums such as Minutus, have shown absolutely no awareness of the egregious nature of their behaviour in Kenya. Karin Mont, Chair of the Alliance of Registered Homeopaths – the second biggest organisation representing lay practitioners in the UK, has said ‘Here we go again. The trashers are about to have another feeding frenzy!’.
More worringly, the head of the Abha Light Clinic, Didi Ruchira, has posted the following:
Please remember that the African-based projects are being used as “cannon fodder” for the UK battle. We (all the African projects) continue to need your support and welcome it.
The article was first published in nairobi on 1 May, but is originated from Melanie Neumann for the Independent. We were given right of reply, but it seems that they mostly ignored our points. I will post more information as I can organize it.
Needless to say, the articles are full of distortions and “un-facts”. The only fact I can stand by in that article is the mention that ALF started 1998 and “it runs the country’s largest homeopathic pharmacy“
Abha Light Foundation is one of the oldest organizations working for the promotion of homeopathy in Africa. We started in 1998. It is through ALF that homeopathy has grown in presence in Kenya until there are now more that 4 organizations/groups regularly working here to promote homeopathy and 3 schools.
Between the expat community, Indian-trained or EU-trained Kenyans and the locally trained homeopaths we can count about 100-150 trained homeopaths working in Kenya.
ALF is not the first presence of homeopathy in Kenya. The first homeopath in Kenya came in 1928 from now-Pakistan. His son (now in his 80′s) and his grandson are both homeopaths. But it wasn’t until ALF organized in 1998 that there was a steady outreach and popularization into the local communities.
Although traditional African herbal medicine has always been used here, when I first came to Kenya, few people had awareness about alternative medicine or homeopathy. But over the years, Kenyans – even from the poorest to the richest- are increasingly turning away from allopathy due to its ineffectiveness and side-effects.
That last sentence is chilling. Allopathy is a derogatory term homeopaths use to describe conventional medicine. It is clear there is a missionary zeal at play here, but rather than save the souls of Africans, homeopaths intend instead to sacrifice their bodies by turning them away from lifesaving medicine and towards their ineffective sugar pills.
The average life expectancy in Sub-Saharan Africa is 30 years less than that of the developed world. This represents a humanitarian problem of immense proportion that will take much wealth, effort and ingenuity to solve. It requires the production and dispersal of life saving medicines and the cooperation of the United Nations health agencies and often unstable governments. What it does not need is are homeopaths from Europe and America whose persistent delusions, and idiotic confidence, can and will kill.