No institutional research in homoeopathy in Bangladesh

Mohammad Al Amin

22 September, 2019 12:00 AM printer

There is hardly any research on homoeopathic medicine despite the fact that the alternative method of treatment remains popular on par with the conventional means of allopathy.

Sources from homoeopathy medicine practitioners said a few of them conduct research personally, but there is no institutional research initiative.

“The government approval remains there to conduct research but there is lack of infrastructure and logistical support,” Dr FBM Abdul Latif, Director of Homeo and Traditional Medicine unit of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), told daily sun.

He further said initiative is being taken to conduct research on homoeopathy treatment as well as medicine under Bangladesh Medical Research Council (BMRC).

“Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) is setting up a big laboratory where such research may be conducted,” he added.

BMRC organises and promotes scientific research in various fields of medicine, public health, reproductive health and nutrition with specific references to primary healthcare needs.

The DGHS director added that there is a corner allocated in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) where homoeopathy research may be conducted.

“We are trying to affiliate homoeopathy medicine courses under BSMMU,” he added.  Talking to daily sun, Dr Md Al-Emran Ali, head of Materia Medica Department of Government Homeopathic Medical College in Dhaka, said: “Research in homoeopathy is very much important. Without research, the treatment process will not improve.”

Dr Md Abdul Mojid, Principal-cum-Superintendent of the government Homeopathic Medical College Hospital, said there is a research department in Homoeopathy Medical College but no research is conducted here yet due to lack of infrastructure and researcher.

“To conduct research, at first we need researchers, and we have already taken initiative to do so,” he added.

There is a guideline for medical research titled “Ethical Guidelines for Conducting Research Studies: Involving Human Subjects” made by BMRC which has described research in allopathic medicine.

“But there is no such guideline recognised by BMRC for research into homeopathy. BMRC included just the word of homoeopathy in its guideline on July 22 this year. We have a meeting on September 22 convened by the organization to discuss the issue of making a separate guideline for introducing research into homoeopathy,” Al-Emran Ali said.

According to a study, homeopathy, or homeopathic medicine, is a holistic system of treatment and is based on the idea that substances that produce symptoms of sickness in healthy people will have a curative effect when given in very dilute quantities to sick people who exhibit those same symptoms.

Homeopathic physicians seek to cure their patients on the physical, mental and emotional levels, and each treatment is tailored to a patient’s individual needs, it added.

Homeopathy is a popular system of alternative medicines throughout the world as well as in Bangladesh. Though European in origin, it became very popular in the Indian subcontinent right from the time of Hahnemann, the founder of Homeopathy.

The incumbent government has paid due attention to the development of homeopathy as it has taken various initiatives to promote and institutionalize homoeopathy medical care.

The current government has appointed over 100 homeopathy doctors to many government hospitals.

The government has also signed MoU with India for education, training and research on homeopathy.

There is a government Homeopathic Medical College with 100-bed hospital in the capital. The University of Dhaka recognised the system by conferring a five-year course of Bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery (BHMS). The homoeopathy medical college conducts BHMS course.

Besides, there are around 62 homeopathic Diploma colleges overseen by the Bangladesh Homeopathy Board.  The diploma colleges provides DHMS (Diploma in Homoeopathic Medicine &Surgery) course.

There are tens of thousands of homeopathic practitioners in the country. Previously, it was popular among the poor section of population as it is a low-cost medicine; but now patients from affluent society also consult homeopathic practitioners.

The government homoeopathic medical college sources said there are around 1518 registered graduate homoeopathy doctors and around 30, 561 registered diploma doctors in the country.

It was learnt that one of the main targets set by the government under the National Health Policy 2011 was to upgrade the traditional healthcare system and education.

Homeopathy created in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann, based on his doctrine of like cures like (similia similibus curentur), a claim that a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people would cure similar symptoms in sick people. A basic belief behind homeopathy is ‘like cures like’.