Saturday, July 22, 2006

Homeopathic malarial treatment

How can these homeopaths get away with something like this?

Alice Tuff of Sense About Science posed as a customer preparing for a 10-week trek through malaria-ridden areas of Africa. She contacted 10 homeopathic practices in the London area offering malaria treatments. All of them offered the remedies without recommending conventional treatments or providing advice about additional precautions to avoid infection, such as using mosquito repellent and bed nets.

"To pretend that these pills will protect you against malaria strikes me as nothing short of criminal," says David Colquhoun of University College London, responding to the report when it was released on 14 July.

Ron Behrens, director of London's Hospital for Tropical Diseases travel clinic, accused the homeopaths of putting lives at risk. He says his clinic has previously had to treat people with malaria who thought they were protected by homeopathic remedies.

Even the British Faculty of Homeopathy, which represents homeopaths, condemned the trade. It remains legal because of a loophole that allows the sale of such remedies by anyone other than registered doctors.

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