Homeopathy: A Warning from Africa

 

This video is starting to do the rounds about how wonderful homeopaths are helping people in Ghana in malarial areas. I hope as many people as possible watch this to better understand this irresponsible and murderous delusion.

I have no doubt that the homeopath here is sincere. Adjoa Margaret Stack obviously believes she is doing good in Ghana with her Senya/Tamale Homeopathy Project but she appears to lacks any insight into what dreadful harm she is almost certainly doing.

Ms Stack highlights the problem well. She says “Homeopathy was born treating malaria.”. Indeed. The founder of homeopathy noticed that a quinine appeared to produce malaria like symptoms when he experimented on himself. From this he made the huge and stupidly overreaching conclusion that this was the reason why quinine was effective against the fever. From this, his philosophy of ‘like cures like’ was born and has remained despite no-one ever demonstrating that homoeopathically prepared treatments can either prevent or cure malaria.

It is worth noting in this video that, despite the appeasing cries of homeopaths, there is no mention of this homeopathic treatment being ‘complementary’ to real medicine. It is designed to be a treatment in its own right. One of the core homeopathic beliefs is that real medicine is a false belief and is actually responsible for much chronic disease. Despite what homeopaths might say in public, their treatments are strictly alternatives to what they call ‘allopathic’ medicine.

Malaria is at the heart of the origin myths of homeopathy. It is a fundamental part of the credo of the homeopathic religion and this is why Homeopathic organisations have reacted so badly to the recent WHO condemnation of such treatments. Homeopaths cannot abandon this crusade to treat and prevent malaria even though it is totally ineffective.

No one within the homeopathic trade will try to prevent people like Adjoa Margaret Stack from continuing in her fantasy. It will be up to governments like the Ghanaian government to do something and clear and unambiguous statements from the WHO have to help. The WHO need to be even more proactive than they have been before a critical mass of African homeopaths have been trained to exploit their fellow citizens.

Homeopaths will not consider that they could be wrong. They have not earned the right to practice their beliefs on people whose life and death may depend on them being right. All the homeopaths have is the fairy tales of their founder and an unquestioning zeal in their beliefs. This is missionary medicine – but without any hope of success.

As Dara O’Briain says in this next clip “Earned knowledge is better than fairy tales”. The pressure must not be let up on these people.

On this theme…

18 Comments on Homeopathy: A Warning from Africa

  1. This is just plain wrong, how the hell does she belive magic potions can treat malaria? And why does the Ghanaian government let her get away with this? On the upside next time one of the idiots asks us to show homeopaths acting unethically in africa we can show them this…

  2. Ramel has hit the nail on the head. Why does the Ghanian government allow this? How can a similar project in Tanzania still be running despite 100s of letters from highly qualified scientists advising the Tanzian governemnet 9 months ago. Consider this along with the letter from the young scientists clearly backed by senior western scientists and the WHO statement which supported this letter.
    Despite all this all projects are still running ( as far as I know).
    My conclusion is that African governments dont trust western scientists and maybe dont trust WHO either. If these governments had believed anything in the letters from scientists then all the homeopaths by now would be in prison or kicked out of the Africa.
    Please advise of any other reason why they are still there?

  3. Grumpy, the reason why they are still there is because of a combination of the following, these nations have more pressing concerns than the activities of homeopaths, governments are remarkably inefficient by developed standards and they don't care enough. Till it all goes horribly wrong, eg South Africa, by which point it's too late.

    To be honest I don't think we should be relying on foreign governments to curb this nonsense, these homeoapths are trained and funded by homeopaths in Europe and America. If the professional homeopathic associations clamped down on this then it would likely start. Instead they fund these homeopaths and give them their little baubles of appreciation.

  4. Homoeopathy was described in an Australian Medical Journal editorial in 1877 as “an irrational heresy” and homoeopaths were described as “immoral, dishonest and promoting a system of charlatanry”.

    Nothing has changed and Australia's own PhD of quackery, Issac Golden, openly promotes Homoeoprophylaxis on national televisions Ch10's '9am with David and Kim' claiming that homeopathy offered a treatment for swine flu.

    The transcript reads as follows;
    (David: Is there a homeopathic treatment for Swine Flu?
    Issac: Yes.
    David: What is it? What’s the components of it?
    Issac: Well, now we need to talk about how you make immunization for homeopathics, or from homeopathics. There’s a number of different options—because homeopathy works of the law of similars, provided we have something that produces similar symptoms, this will be…enable a degree of cover. Now we actually have the Swine…what we call the Swine Flu nosode…)

    Issac Golden has no formal medical or science qualifications, and draws his conclusions from years of working as a naturopath.

    If ever we are in the hands of a deadly pandemic, surely we want reality not "an irrational heresy" to dictate the course of action?

  5. There seems to be a huge cultural gap between some nations, including many in Africa, and the scientifically-advanced nations. Thabo Mbeki, while President of South Africa, denied the causation of AIDS by HIV. This denial possibly resulted in many deaths that could have been prevented by anti-retroviral medication. And of the 53 or so countries in Africa, South Africa is probably the most advanced. This does not auger well for the rational use of evidence-based medical treatment in these places.

  6. This is the dangerous nonsense that we must try and do something about. The revelations within this document are quite astounding. http://www.senyatamalehomeopathyproject.net/Home_files/HT%20articles%20on%20Africa.pdf
    Page after page of anecdotes of homeopathic cures of serious diseases. I haven't had the chance to digest it completely, but this comment (a "disclaimer" of sorts) would be amusing were it not so profoundly tragic for those who suffer from the care they are offered by these deluded fools:
    “Don’t joke around with
    malaria. Use caution when traveling to
    malarial areas. If your remedies fail to
    protect or acute remedies don’t act
    within 12 hours, seek medical treatment.
    Malaria is dangerous, especially
    malignant malaria, which can kill
    within 36 hours.”

    Yup, that's right, they are "worried" about how lethal malaria is, but they still advocate using their own quack medicines first. Delay in proper medical treatment is nothing but criminal negligence.

    See how they justify their use of homeopathy for malaria:
    "Conventional treatment focuses on giving
    quinine-based drugs but unfortunately,
    the wily malaria parasite has
    developed resistance to many of them.
    Also, treatment is not easily accessible in
    Ghana because of availability, costs, or
    long distances. Those caregivers who are
    accessible often don’t adhere to World
    Health Organization standards in malaria
    treatment. For example, I’ve never known
    any Ghanaian who received a blood test to
    confirm malaria or to determine which
    strain of the parasite they had in order to
    pick which drug will be most effective."

    That's right, they dare criticise doctors for giving conventional treatment, and "not adhering to WHO standards of treatment", which they do, presumably.

    In Ghana the predominant species of malaria is P. falciparum, and empirical treatment for malaria will cover all strains. True, some types of malaria may relapse if a second drug is not given, but these are the less severe forms of malaria and unlikely to cause long term problems.
    In endemic areas, the idea is that you treat severe cases to avoid deaths. Relapses or recurrent attacks of milder malaria are NOT a problem since this builds some degree of immunity and protection against severe complications.

    The Ghanaian docs are doing exactly what they should be doing, and what the WHO recommends.

    Sorry, i am just so angry I don't know what more to say.

  7. But Sigsbert Rwegasira has a 100% malaria cure rate! So says Jeremy Sherr. And don't forget the bods in the sub-continent who also cure rabies.

  8. Can the video be reposted by someone just in case the original mysteriously disappears? I know too little about the workings of the interweb to know how to do this.

  9. Does anyone suppose she is actually treating malaria most of the time? I wonder whether she uses any proper diagnostic tests or whether it's all just the homeopathic history-taking.

    By the way, here are two quotes that I found the most scary part of the whole thing;

    "I wanted to have more direct hands-on experience and less direction from an outsider."

    "In this grass roots nature I've had the freedom to just do the work. Nobody's telling me how to do it."

  10. Have just noticed the stats that come with youtube films. Most views seem to be via the Quackometer.

    I wonder from time to time if a large chunck of activity on Woo sites in general is actually from sckeptics keeping an eye on them.

  11. These people are outright genocidal criminals, even if by dint of willful ignorance.
    Why can they not be charged with crimes against humanity?

  12. I don't know but agree they should be sued to hell (or Atlantis, since there seems to be a very strong link between homeopathy and the Steiner cult).

    Any lawyers around? Can the homeopathic societies be sued for crimes against humanity provided there's some data to show just how many deaths could be prevented?

  13. just in case you ever do an update on this i have posted this. i came across a homeopaths website who had been to volunteer with Adjoa Stack. the blog she has written is quite illuminating and i will not spoil the surprise. jump to “July 1- 31: Preparation For Ghana” and see what faith she puts in homeopathy when there is a possibility she could get malaria while there:

    http://www.sfhomeopath.com/africablog.html

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