Its a real crying shame. India has so many issues with healthcare. So very many. When 50 out of 1000 children die before the age of 1, do you really think you should be encouraging people to take part in frankly outdated practices? Really Cuba? I hold you, as a mere medical student, the ideal model of a medical system for a developing nation. Cost efficient and designed to provide amazing healthcare at a cost to people who need it. But I am sorely disappointed. But this may not be Cuba’s fault, they are notoriously scientific in their approach to medicine. This may be India. In order to make up the gap in available doctors, the Indian government recognises alternative medicine as a medical degree.
I understand a lot of people know what homeopathy is. But ayurveda? Its an old system of natural medicine. Some of it is pretty sensible. Like how to keep your teeth clean. If one travels in India, you will notice an above average standard of healthy teeth despite a relative lack of dentists and indeed tooth brushes. People take sticks from a Neem tree and pith it so that it forms a brush. The neem sap is naturally antibacterial and the stick forms a good brush. Common sense and application? Certainly! However one should not listen to its plans on maintainable of blood pressure or many of the countless other bad ideas it has.
Again we are all familiar with Yoga, in general a way to flex your way to health. Great if you are in shape, not so great if you are like me and are for want of a better description “a chubby bugger”. Yet yoga practitioners in India make claims of the system that make Dhalsim more realistic. From cures of diabetes to stopping devious sexual thoughts.
Unani. Now this is one I had to look up. I ran into these individuals as part of a community medicine rotation and what I learnt made me sick. They are traditional greek humourists. As in the believe in the balance of humours. This is medical thinking that outdates the bible. They are leech merchants and belong in a Monty Python sketch.
Its deadly, the fact is that the indian government is mainly made up of people with poor education. Its run on dirty tricks and mudslingling rather than policy. This allows such charlatans to thrive. The idea may be that India can cover up the gaps in the system using natural medicine. They are desperate. Or that people are more likely to come to a traditional healer where they can be treated with modern medicine instead. However the fact is that the government encourages so called local healers as full fledged doctors carrying equivalent ranking to what people call western medicine. So as a poor person being treated for malaria, your doctor may administer you quinine bark pills or western medicine or homeopathic water.
Here in lies the problem. Western is an idea of a foreign invader. Temples have started placing restrictions on what they call as western clothing. A lot of temples state that women cannot enter dressed in western clothes (AKA Jeans, Skirts and so on) and must wear a sari or salwar kameez. However a lot of temples have gone one step further and stated that men cannot enter wearing western clothes. Making it a sarong, yes gentlemen. Just a sarong. Women will have to avert their eyes from our shining masculine bodies lest we inflame their passions with our gigantic muscles and shapely legs. (Or in my case make them run away laughing/screaming because of my lack of those things) Its an evil thing filled with change and a degradation of the Indian Culture whether it be KFC or indeed Medicine.
So you are fighting from a position of weakness because you are foreign. You see some really tragic things. Families who won’t use any contraception because they believe in what the catholic church says despite having so many children that they cannot even feed them properly causing the government to step in with food aid which only encourages them to have more children because they think the lord will provide when it is the tax payer. Families which bring children in with screw worm infections due to an ancient practice of anointing the child with cow dung. Polio outbreaks because people are told that the polio vaccine is a kind of contraception, that the two drops they place on your child’s tongue mean that he will only have two children. People nod and listen then promptly go back to doing things the way they always did and listening to the charlatans and quacks.
Just remember, the real danger of homeopathy is not back home in the UK or in the US. Its where they can call themselves doctors and receive government money to treat people who don’t know any better and who are just doing what their fathers and grandfathers did. They are killing people for money here. Its nothing short of murder. And that’s the real shame. Because we can do something back home by opposing these monsters and exposing their lies. The less support the indian homeopaths receive from their sugar daddies back in the west the more lives we save and the easier it makes facing down the local brands of their pernicious faith in water.