In honor of AAHP’s 100th anniversary year, we’re looking back at the history of homeopathy to learn how the medical modality spread worldwide. Readers will discover startling vignettes of unexpected paths and outcomes. Many may know much about homeopathy here and now, but we hope you find our “There and Then” series informative and interesting!
During a cholera epidemic in 1922, a homeopath from India came and successfully treated many patients. This single effort led to homeopathy’s acceptance by the country’s elite class, though it did not reach the major of Nepalese citizens. In the 1950s, a homeopathic hospital was opened; then a number of other clinics opened.
More recently, the Nepalese government has been working to create a simpler, less expensive, and more systematized health care system. Beginning in 1996, homeopathy has been recognized as an independent form of medical treatment, with two homeopathic teaching colleges providing rigorous government certified programs. One of these focuses on teaching students from remote areas of the country. Today, free or inexpensive homeopathic treatment and services are available at the Homeopathic Hospital outside Kathmandu; in one recent year, the hospital treated 65,000 patients. Throughout the country, there are a growing number of new pharmacy shops which stock homeopathic products.
Not long ago, three new homeopathic clinics were opened in several parts of the country including terrorism-affected areas; these are in addition to four previously existing clinics. The government’s Homeopathic Hospital was expanded to accommodate twenty patients with additional out-patient units, attended by a homeopathic medical specialist, leading to a 100% increase in the number of patients seeking homeopathic treatment in the hospital and in several peripheral clinics.
Homeopathy was introduced in Malaysia by Indians in the British Army during WWII. A modern, well-equipped homeopathic clinic was opened 30 years later. Concurrently, the first of the five current major training centers opened. Today, Malaysia trains more than 1,000 students from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines through both in-person and distance learning. Despite the lack of regulations governing homeopathy, the health ministry is receptive to all forms of alternative therapies, and there are well over 1,000 homeopathic practitioners across the country. The public is well acquainted with homeopathy and many request this as their chosen treatment. Since 1979, members of Malaysia’s Homeopathic Doctors without Barriers have provided volunteer services to more than 100,000 people in humanitarian activities in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Malaysia.