Homeopathy and Serious Diseases in the Developing World:
An Open Letter from Early Career Medics and Researchers

SENSE ABOUT SCIENCE
25 Shaftesbury Avenue London W1D 7EG
T 020 7478 4380
1st June 2009

Mr A Etukudo
Division of AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (ATM)
WHO Africa

Dear Mr Etukudo:

We are calling on the WHO to condemn the promotion of homeopathy for treating TB, infant diarrhoea, influenza, malaria and HIV. Homeopathy does not protect people from, or treat, these diseases. Those of us working with the most rural and impoverished people of the world already struggle to deliver the medical help that is needed. When homeopathy stands in place of effective treatment, lives are lost.

Examples of homeopathy being promoted for these diseases include:

Many people in developing countries urgently need access to evidence-based medical information and to the most effective means of treating these dangerous diseases. The promotion of homeopathy as effective or cheaper makes this difficult task even harder. It puts lives at risk, undermines conventional medicine and spreads misinformation.

We are sure that you will recognise these dangers and ask that you issue a clear international communication condemning the promotion of homeopathy for treating TB, infant diarrhoea, influenza, malaria and HIV. We are sure, too, that you will recognise the urgency of our request, and look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely

Julia Wilson
On behalf of the Voice of Young Science network
Sense About Science, London

Ms Marianne Baker
PhD Student
Molecular Pathology of Cancer Training Programme, Cancer Research UK

Harriet Ball
PhD Student
Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London

Dr Vitor Bernardes Pinheiro
Career development fellow
Medical Research Council UK

Julie Bristow
PhD Student
Working on control of the vector of trachoma, Durham University

Duncan Casey
PhD student
Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London

Dr Meera Cush
Toxicologist
The Health Protection Agency

Dr Oliver Fenwick
Research Associate
Department of Physics, University College London

Dr Melissa Friswell
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Deptartment of Clinical Gastroenterology, University of Liverpool.

Dr Melita Gordon
Senior Lecturer and Consultant in Gastroenterology
University of Liverpool Gastroenterology Unit
Previously Research Fellow, College of Medicine, Blantyre, Malawi

Dr Robert Hagan
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Biomolecular Scientist, University of St Andre

Evelyn Harvey
Biochemist and Medical Writer

Andrew Johnston
Neuroscientist and Geneticist

Dr Tina Kresfelder
Post-doctoral Fellow
Department Medical Virology
University of Pretoria, South Africa

Jennifer Lardge
PhD Student
Department of Physics, University College London

Dr Simnikiwe Mayaphi
MMed (Virology) student
Department of Medical Virology
University of Pretoria, South Afric

Dr Daniella Muallem
Postdoctoral researcher
Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology, University College London

Dr Michael Ofori
Research Associate
Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana

Bobby Ramakant
Health and Development Networks Key Correspondent, India

Dr Blanka Sengerová
Postdoctoral researcher
Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford

Juliet Stevens
Medical Student, University of Oxford
Currently on placement at Somerset State Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

Harriet Teare
DPhil Student
Organic Chemistry, University of Oxford

Dr. Marietjie Venter
Senior Lecturer
Department Medical Virology
University of Pretoria, South Africa

Tom Wells
PhD Student
Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London

Patrick Woodburn
PhD Student
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Formerly a medical statistician with the Medical Research Council in Uganda for three years. 

Our call for a communication is also supported by the following experts and organisations:

The AIDS Care Watch campaign (ACW)
www.aidscarewatch.org  - a civil society partnership of over 400 organizations

Dr NJ Beeching
Senior Lecturer and Clinical Lead in Infectious Diseases
Tropical and Infectious Disease Unit
Royal Liverpool University Hospital

Dr Peter Flegg  MD, FRCP, DTM&H
Consultant Physician
Department of Infectious Diseases
Victoria Hospital

Stephen Graham
Associate Professor
Centre for International Child Health
University of Melbourne

Marianne Johnson
Director
AidCamps International

Celina Menezes
President - World Care Council Asia
President - Delhi Mahila Samiti (a women forum of Delhi Network of Positive People)

Dr Alastair Miller MA FRCP DTM&H
Consultant Physician
Tropical & Infectious Disease Unit
Royal Liverpool University Hospital

Beri Gisela Ntam
Strategic Humanitarian Services in Cameroon

Billian Nyuykighan
Program Co-ordinator
Strategic Humanitarian Services in Cameroon

Ndzerem Stephen
Director and Development Analyst
Strategic Humanitarian Services in Cameroon

Signatories are on an individual basis unless otherwise stated.

COMMENTS FROM EARLY CAREER RESEARCHERS:

COMMENTS FROM SENIOR SCIENTISTS AND MEDICS:

This page was posted on July 9, 2009.

Links to Recommended Companies