Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Report on the First International Conference on Evidence Based Homoeopathy
This July marked a first for Homeopathy in Malaysia, an international Homeopathy conference was held for the first time. The First International Conference on Homoeopathy was help on 15th-17th July 2011 at the Putra World Trade Center, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The theme was “Is Homoeopathy Evidence Based?” It was jointly hosted by the Ministry of Health (Traditional & Complimentary Division) and the Malaysian Homoeopathic Medical Council.
There were concurrent sessions at the preconference workshop which commenced with the deliberation of the homoeopathic gastro-enterologist from Australia Dr. Hassim Seedat on “Finding the Similimum in Gastrointestinal Disorders” where he guided the audience on the method of case taking and repertorization along with presentation of a few cases of Ulcerative Colitis from his practice. In the concurrent session, there was the “Introduction to Evidence Based Medicine” by Datin Dr. Rugayah Bakri (Head of Health Technology Assessment Unit, Ministry of Health, Malaysia.) Mrs. Sin Lian Thye spoke on “Steps in searching for literature” while Mrs. Noormah Mohd Darus gave a detailed presentation on “Evaluating the Quality and Methodology of Systematic Review and Rct papers.” Dr. Izzuna Mudla Mohamed Ghazali (Epidemiologist) took a marathon 2 hour session on “Evaluating the Quality and Methodology of observational papers” and “Summarizing and Synthesizing Evidence.” She then joined Mrs. Noormah and Dr. Bakri for a group work on “Appraising a Paper.” Dr. Suriyakhatun Osman spoke on the role of Chronic Miasms in “Behcet’s Disease” where as Dr. Geeta Rani Arora exhibited the finesse of the homoeopathic software “RADAR” in clinical practice.
The inauguration ceremony saw much fanfare. After the official opening speech read on behalf of Y.B. Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai; Minister of Health, Malaysia, the Keynote Address was delivered by YBhg Dato’ Dr Maimunah Hamid . She spoke at length on “Integrating Traditional and Complementary Medicine into Malaysian Health Care.” The preliminary sessions were on Evidence based Homoeopathy Practice and Homoeopathic Trials and Research. It started with Dr. Peter Fisher’s (United Kingdom) exposition on “The efficacy and real world effectiveness of Homoeopathy” followed by “Homoeopathic Prescribing in Rheumatology” and finally “Integrating Homoeopathy Into National Health System: UK experience.” He went on to answer 3 pertinent questions : Do homoeopathic medicines have beneficial effects that are not placebo effects?; Does homoeopathy as a whole system of medicine provide benefit in terms of effectiveness and cost-effectiveness; and is homoeopathy safe? Towing the line of the keynote address, Dr. Azman Abu Bakar - IHSR Director, Ministry of Health, Malaysia painted the Malaysian picture on “Evidence Based Medicine : Application in Traditional and Complementary Medicine and the way forward.”
The conference experienced 3 well researched papers by Alastair Gray (Australia). The Head of Homeopathy at Endeavour College of Natural Health spoke on “Systemic review of positive & negative Homoeopathic trials in the Treatment & management of Named Conditions & Diseases”, “Homoeopathic research: Pathway to higher education” and the last paper on “ Contemporary method in the Ethics, conducting, collating, extracting and publishing of Homoeopathic proving.” Dr. Clare Relton (United Kingdom) also presented 3 papers namely “Homoeopathy : What type of clinical evidence is required”; “How to design Homoeopathic Clinical randomized Controlled trials that Work” and “Understanding the evidence: Insomnia and Fibromyalgia Syndrome.”
The following sessions saw the works of a young and dynamic homoeopath cum biophysicist from United Kingdom Dr. Alexander Tourner. Combining his expertise of both the subjects (physics and homoeopathy) Alex presented papers on “The physics of Homoeopathy : The state of the Evidence” and “Theoretical model of Homoeopathy: How does it work?” His final paper vividly highlighted “Prof. Luc Montagnier”s Research on high dilutions and it’s Application in Homoeopathy.” The Head of the world renown Finlay Institute at Cuba Dr. Gustavo Bracho narrated his experiences in “Homoeopathic Approach to Dengue: Recent Experiences and strategies”, “Large scale of Homoeoprophylaxis for Epidemic control: Leptospirosis” and “Vaccines & Homoeoprophylaxis: Experiences and potentials.” Then came the turn of the veteran homoeopath from Australia, Dr. Issac Golden. He spoke on “Evidence base of Homeoprophylaxis” and “Long term Homoeoprophylaxis in Endemic conditions.”
One session was dedicated in discussing the present scenario of homoeopathy in Malaysia. Dr. Ramli Abd. Ghani Director T & CM division, Health Ministry, Malaysia deliberated on “Current & future regulation for T & CM practioners” while Dr. Suriyakhatun Osman, from the Malaysian Homoeopathic Medical Council spoke on “Current development of Homoeopathy in Malaysia.” She emphasized upon the fact that within the next decade Malaysia is to become the hub of Homoeopathic Medicine, education, research and industry, particularly in the ASEAN region.
Dr. Reishmi Devan of the Cyberjaya University college of Medical sciences gave the grass root reality of “Education and Training In Homoeopathy.” The session ended with the paper on “Conduct of HTA in T & CM : EBM approach” by Datin Dr. Rugayah Bakri.
Dr. Kate Chatfield (United Kingdom) spoke on 2 topics “Systemic review of the research Evidence for Homoeopathy In the treatment of Allergic conditions” and “The nature of evidence and Homeopathy.”
The grand conference witnessed the final paper in the form of “Clinico-angiographic profile in Young patients of Ischaemic Heart Disease & scope of Homoeopathy” a decade long research carried out by Dr. Aadil Chimthanawala from India.
This conference was a platform for the homoeopathic fraternity and the general public of Malaysia to understand more about homoeopathy – and it served its purpose well.
Adapted from report by Dr Aadil Chimthanawala