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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cholera in Haiti: Homeopathic Cure?

We've had a lot of rain in the past few days and it has created some emergency management issues for areas in Nova Scotia. In some places people have had to be evacuated. As people personally struggle with flooded basements, short term evacuations and property loss, I just can't get the situation in Haiti out of my mind.

Imagine if you weren't living in the best of environments in the first place when you got hit with an earthquake that basically took out all infrastructure. Then you were hit with massive floods. Combine that all together and now you have contaminated water causing Cholera. Wow...

The earthquakes and the flooding are natural events and can't be "undone" and weren't even really surprises from an emergency management perspective. But it seems as thought since we could anticipate infectious disease as a resultant impact, maybe we could react in some effective ways? And by we, I guess I mean - the world, and those not affected at the moment. Maybe that's the problem- defining "we".

Cholera is a bacterial infection caused by the bacterium vibrio cholerae. Like most bacterial epidemics it is transmitted by eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water- both the results of what we might call "sub-standard" living conditions and the inability to provide clean water due to improper waste management. Not a surprise when you have millions of people camping out together due to earthquakes and flooding. Since October over 500 people in Haiti have died of Cholera. People really don't die from the bacteria, they die from fluid loss due to massive vomiting and diarrhea as they react to the bacteria in their system.

There is a history of Cholera epidemics. Cholera struck Europe in 1831. In 1854 another outbreak struck Europe,in 1886 there was an outbreak in China and those just name a few.

The conventional medicine treatment for cholera of intravenous fluids and antibiotics( intravenously)are difficult to administer in the types of conditions present in Haiti right now. But in past epidemics homeopathic treatments have proven effective for Cholera. There is scientific evidence to support this. Check out where they have posted an article by Julian Winston, or an interesting blog I just discovered

From an emergency management point of view homeopathic treatment would be much easier to adminster in the conditions in Haiti. Veratrum Album, Camphora and Cuprum have all been proven effective for the symptoms experienced from cholera. There are others that could work as well. They are all available as granules- simply handed out and self-administered under the tongue. They are cheap to produce and readily available. You don't have to watch for allergic reactions, people don't have to be monitored for side effects. Why can't "we" do this??

I recently watched "The Painted Veil"- cover for the movie is in today's picture. It's a great movie starring Naomi Watts, Edward Norton and Liev Schreiber. It's about a British doctor/scientist that fights a cholera outbreak in China. It a love story but it's also about science and how the Doctor helps purify the water system. In doing so he struggles to "go against conventional thought" and practices. I won't wreck the plot line by telling you what happens, but it's a good movie to watch.

Why can't "we" apply simple or at least easier solutions to big problems?


  1. let me be cynical here: ...for the same reasons that we are prescribed antibiotics instead of colloidal silver, aspirin or tylenol instead of belladonna or pulsatilla, etc. etc. It is our purpose as human members of society to help the pharmaceutical industry to thrive, their ceos to prosper and for our fellow humans to be the necessary sacrificial offerings to appease the the gods of lucre...
    and, as good citizens, we are following our thus prescribed road like sheep driven by sheppards and their dogs...

  2. So how do we make a change? I'm really looking for suggestions and ideas. If we have this knowledge and there seems to be agreement on this and lots of people that feel the same why can't we make change happen? Or maybe they are changing and just not fast enough for me? I'm not a fan of peititions and sending letters to politicians and those types of bombardments but would really like to hear if anyone has some creative ideas..

  3. Paul Farmer is a doctor working in Haiti. You can reach him through Partners in Health:

    I was just reading about their work last night. Might as well go direct to where the action is!

  4. Yup! A very interesting site. I sent an email.. I'll see what happens.

  5. An Update:

    I did some more research on this and I found a homeopathic pharmacy willing to supply the following combination:

    Camphora 5 CH
    Veratrum album 5 CH
    Cuprum metallicum 5 CH
    Arsenicum album 5 CH
    China rubra 12 ch

    This combination should cover all the symptoms of cholera and wouldn't require someone to have to distinguish between the specifics of the patient's presentation. That isn't "classical" homeopathy but certainly would make it easier to deliver and more "emergency management friendly".

    This can be supplied in liquid 42ml format for approximately $40.00 Canadian. (doesn’t include shipping & handling from the U.K)

    The 42ml bottle contains approximately 1200 drops. One dose is 5 drops and can be diluted in a small amount of water (15mls). So each 42ml bottle would provide approximately 240 doses. This does not have to be exact science and won’t cause problems if you under or overdose slightly.

    The number of doses that would be required varies with the individual but each dose would be given in 15 minute intervals until the symptoms resolved.

    So it all made sense for an easy delivery method and I figure donations could be easily raised to supply to a willing group. The problem??? .. a willing group.

    I understand the hesitation. There is a "fear factor" around supplying something that isn't conventional medicine or administered by a medical professional. Hmmm...

    If anyone knows of a group interested in providing this potential cure to an organized group in Haiti- contact me!