Q: How is the project going?
Very well! We have made great progress with developing clinics, outreach programs and sustainable food programs. The patients are very happy with what homoeopathy has to offer, as are the local health authorities.
Q: How are the results?
Excellent. We are positively surprised on a daily basis. The PLWHA (people living with HIV AIDS) show great improvement very quickly, both in symptoms of AIDS and in reducing the side effects of the ARV drugs.
Q: Are the results showing in blood tests?
Definitely and positively, most patients have 3-6 month CD4 blood tests, and in many cases there is a great improvement. Doctors are positively surprised and very encouraging.
Q: Have you noticed a difference between working with patients from Europe and the USA?
I have been working in Europe and the USA for 29 years, and I can say that the African population seems to respond even more quickly and positively. They also have a quick and deep understanding of the homoeopathic process and medicine, adapt to it easily and appreciate it.
Q: What is it they like about homoeopathy?
The patients here love the fact that it is a natural medicine, that it treats the spirit as well as the body, and that it is free of charge. But most of all they appreciate that it has no side effects.
Q: Are the patients taking conventional medicine as well?
About 80% of our patients are taking antiretroviral medication (ARV).
Q: What about the other 20%?
They are not yet eligible for ARV medication. This is only available for patients with a CD4 count of below 200. Many patients come with a CD4 of 300 and above. They are HIV positive and may have symptoms of AIDS, but the doctors and government policy will not give them medication at this stage,unless they present as WHO stage 3.
Q: Are there any other options for these patients, any conventional medication they can take before they deteriorate to the level of pathology that justifies ARV medication.
No. There is nothing else available for HIV, except specific treatment for opportunistic infections such as TB.
Q: Do you ever stop the patients from taking ARVs?
Absolutely not. Homoeopathy is a complementary medicine and it works alongside ARV medication. No patient in this project who has been taking ARV has stopped taking them. All patients have been to hospital and follow the directions given.
Q: Could prospective patients avoid taking ARVs as a result of your activities?
Not at all. We don’t advertise, and we send all prospective patients who have not yet been to the hospital for checkups and medical advice. The patients here don’t see the medicines as opposing, but as complementary.
Q: Are you saying that no patient or prospective patient has yet stopped ARV medication due to homoeopathy?
Q: What is the difference between the results with homoeopathy and with ARVs?
There is no doubt that ARV medications prolong life in many cases. However there are many severe side effects. While ‘side effects’ may just seem like two words to the reader, one must understand that the suffering is intense, with symptoms ranging from severe continuous itching to nerve disorders, weakness, distorted body shapes, vomiting, diarrhoea and nightmares disturbing sleep. These and many more are well documented, but it is a different matter to experience and observe. We call it negative health.
Q: Does homoeopathy help with these side effects?
Most definitely. Many of the side effects of ARVs improve within a week of starting homoeopathy. There is no doubt that homoeopathy helps patients adhere to ARVs.
Q: What do you mean by adherence?
Adherence means taking your medication regularly and on time. This is one of the biggest problems with ARV treatment, because non-adherence results in resistance to the drug which can cause treatment failure. Side effects are one of main reasons for poor adherence. By reducing side effects, homoeopathy helps patients stick to their ARV regime. This is the result of homoeopathy and conventional medicine working in an integrative way.
Q: Are there other problems with ARVs?
A serious problem is that these drugs react badly, and can result in viral resistance, in patients that do not eat regular and specific meals. Many of the patients cannot afford even one meal a day. Furthermore the trip to town to get ARVs is often beyond the patients’ financial means. Recently the Tanzanian government has reduced the budget for ARVs by 25%.
When the first line of drugs stops working there is a second line to follow, but that is all that is available in Tanzania. When the second line runs out, that is it. There is no more HIV treatment. In comparison, many patients in the West are on the 10th or more line of ARVs.
Q: So how does homoeopathy help?
Along with the improvement in symptoms and CD4 blood counts there is a quick and definite improvement in energy and many of the symptoms. There is also a big improvement in general well being, appetite, dreams and emotional states. We call it positive health.
The increase in energy we see with nearly every patient is in itself a life saver. patients who were confined to bed, and their families to hunger, can now work.
Q: Does homoeopathy have any side effects?
None. We have not seen any and none have been reported. No study has ever shown negative side effects of homoeopathic treatment.
Q: What are the outreach programs you are offering and why are they needed?
Many patients are too sick and weak to visit our clinic or hospitals. Others simply can’t afford the transport to town. They have no option but to lie in their huts dying while they watch their children starve. Many of these children are also sick with HIV. It is these people we try to help with the outreach programs.
Q: What about the food projects?
From an early stage of the project we saw how serious the poverty situation was. Many patients could not afford one meal a day for their children, and some had not eaten for days. This is even worse for PLWHA, especially AIDS widows with small children. As a result we have started garden projects, where the members of the AIDS groups attend to communal gardens which supply food for themselves and some to sell. To help with this we have bought them seeds, chickens and pigs.
We are also running a ‘porridge project’ where we supply patients with a nutritious mix of porridge.
Q: Could it be that the patients are responding so well to the food and not the homoeopathy?
No. We have seen the results from homoeopathy many times before starting the food program and the gardens have just started growing. But as long as the patients are improving, healthy and happy, so are we.
Q: Are you operating legally in Tanzania?
Yes. Homoeopathy is a recognized and encouraged medicine in Tanzania, and we have the full support of local and national organisations. The authorities are very happy with our activities, and the biggest problem is that our supply cannot meet the demands.
Q: Who is funding you?
We operate mostly from contributions from well meaning individuals, mostly homoeopaths and patients in the West. Seeing this is often insufficient we are forced to use our own savings.
Q: What about the big foundations, isn’t there a lot of money out there for AIDS and Africa?
We have applied to many of the big funders and continue to do so, but there has been no response. The sources that supply this money want statistical evidence, but that is difficult to supply without serious funding. It is a Catch 22. Applying for these funds is also a full time job, and we do not have the human resources to do so. Our work is to treat patients.
Q: Is there homoeopathic research available?
Yes, there is a lot of very positive and extensive homoeopathic research, and an impressive history of successful treatment of epidemics. You can read more on www.facultyofhomeopathy.org/research and http://homeopathic.org/articles-research A particularly impressive and rigorous research in Cuba recently showed dramatic results in preventing leptospirosis in over 2 million people. ‘The Lancet’ and other respected medical journals have published positive homoeopathic research. As yet there is little formal research on AIDS and homoeopathy, although there has been some preliminary work which you can read on www.aidsrestherapy.com/content/supplementary/1742-6405-5-25-s2.pdf Homoeopathic practitioners all over the world are experiencing very positive results with AIDS.
Q: Do you plan to do any research?
We have had several academic bodies approach us on this subject. And we hope to be able to undertake and fund research soon.
We are ready and eager to do this.
Q: If research does take place, will it be ethically approved?
Definitely. Tanzanian health authorities are very strict on these issues, and rightly so. All research proposals must be approved by the national ethical review committee. They have a high ethical standard, and are well aware of local conditions, which many Western research scientists who have not been to Africa do not understand. It goes without saying that any research we undertake will be ethically approved and of the highest standard.
Q: What kind of homoeopathy do you use?
We use classical homoeopathy based on the principles of Hahnemann’s Organon.
Q: What about the other kinds of homoeopathic treatment that are being used for AIDS patients in Africa?
While we have heard that they have very good results, we believe in and love classical homoeopathy, so that is what we stick to. We think that classical homoeopathy is the most consistent and scientific form of homoeopathy, and that it holds the answers to the bigger picture of the pandemic.
Q: Do you treat other disease?
Yes, we treat many other diseases, and while our main focus is AIDS, nearly everyone here has malaria, and we are getting excellent results with the homoeopathic treatment of malaria. The side effects of conventional malaria medications are serious, and many patients are too frightened to take them, http://nobelprize.org/educational_games/medicine/malaria/readmore/treatment.html The medications are also very expensive and most patients simply cannot afford them (10$ a week, which is much more than most people earn). Most malarial drugs are now ineffective because of the resistance that malarial strains have developed against them. Because of this most people just live, or die, with malaria. With homoeopathy there is rapid improvement, no side effects, and an impressive reduction of parasite count http://www.d-n-h.org/Malaria%20Research%20-%20HWB.pdf
Q: We have heard that there have been attacks on your project, what is this about?
There is a minority of individuals that oppose homoeopathy, and they have launched attacks on private blogs, newspapers and elsewhere.
Q: Who are these people?
This is a group of individuals, scientists and pseudo scientists who oppose any form of complementary therapy. Some are well organized and funded. You can read more about these people on http://www.slingshotpublications.com/dwarfs.html and http://mcarolboyce.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/homeopathy-and-humbug-dec-071.pdf . Others are professional skeptics, often with a background of extreme politics. http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2003/12/09/invasion-of-the-entryists/.
For more information on this topic see elephants and mice
Most of these 'scientists' have never been to Africa in a medical capacity and none have witnessed what homoeopathy can do, and are therefore talking from a non scientific point of view.
Q: What is their claim?
On one hand they state that homoeopathy is placebo. On the other hand they claim to worry that it might result in patients stopping ARV medication.
Q: Is there any basis to these claims?
As to the placebo effect, if that is the case we must be very charismatic, because the results of homoeopathic treatment are excellent, even when there has been poor response to previous treatments.
If we are achieving such good results through placebo we would be happy, because anything that helps is good. However, it seems that homoeopathy works very well on babies, animals and even skeptics. Furthermore, when we give a remedy that is not indicated, nothing happens (and no side effects), and when we follow on with a more precise remedy, the results are positive. So it is difficult to see how we are not charismatic one week and so charismatic the next.
As to preventing patients from taking ARVs, as stated earlier this has never happened, in fact we encourage all patients to visit the hospital and follow their instructions. The only patients we treat who are not taking ARVs are those who do not yet have a low enough CD4 to warrant them. It seems that the attackers would prefer these people to sit back, do nothing and suffer until they are sick enough to take the ARVs.
The Attackers like to quote one interview of mine where I mention an AIDS patient in the UK who came off drugs. This is absolutely true. He did stop the drugs, but at the doctors orders, not mine. The Doctor was so impressed with the rapid rise in his CD4 and decrease of viral load that he told the patient to stop the drugs. I have the case on video to prove it. That was the doctor’s decision, and I have always, and always will, continue to leave the decisions re ARV medication to the doctors. Anyone who claims otherwise must produce the cases to back their claims, otherwise it would be slanderous heresay.
If these attackers prevent one person from the possible benefits of homoeopathy without truly and openly investigating it, then it must rest on the consciousness of their souls forever.
Q: But what is the role of science here?
The role of true science is to explain what we know and to investigate what we don’t know or don’t yet understand. If this were not the case science would have long since stagnated. A closed minded approach that is not open to scientific investigation, and attacks whatever it does not yet understand, cannot be called science, and belongs in the dark ages. If we follow these pseudo scientific dictates we will remain with what we have always known, and will make no progress in our world.
However, we are very willing to undertake conventional research and intend to do so. If, as the pseudo scientists say, homoeopathy does not work, they have nothing to fear.
Q: Why do you think they have so much fear of homoeopathy?
Because homoeopathy has proved to be immensely popular all over the world. http://www.zeusinfoservice.com/Reports/10-1-06.html. In fact it is the second most popular medicine in the world today. Over 400 million people choose homoeopathy! These include many doctors, academics, researchers, VIP's and just ordinary intelligent people. Contrary to what the pseudo scientists are saying, people are not stupid; they see what works and they choose what works.
Q: Do these attacks have an effect?
While they were initially demoralizing, the long term effect has been to strengthen our resolve and to help us keep our house in order. There is a silver lining to every cloud.
These attacks have also incensed many Tanzanian health professionals and local authorities. They have seen the amazing results and they do not like outsiders interfering with their health care choices. They see it as a neo colonialism, and that does not go down well. In other words, these attacks have increased our support both locally and worldwide.
Q: I am a free thinking person who believes in freedom of choice for patients. How should I respond to these attacks?
As to the blogs, the main policy is not to go there and not to engage. These people are not open to serious debate and do not respect other points of views. You cannot convince them. They are too entrenched in their own narrow and rigid beliefs or are being paid to attack us. There is surprisingly low traffic on these sites, and most traffic is actually from free thinking people, patients and homoeopaths attempting to respond. Do not visit, read or respond, so that you will not increase their Google rating. There is no point in fighting the darkness, just light a candle instead. For a good example of how to respond see www.homeopathyworkedforme.org (Homoeopathy Worked for Me campaign). Also read “Don’t Panic” pg 44 at http://mcarolboyce.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/similia-magnus-pharma-and-the-golden-goose-june-071.pdf .
As to their letters to the newspapers and other public organizations, by all means respond and let the public know how you feel, the more the better. Newspapers such as The Guardian, need to hear from individuals who are readers of their paper and oppose the biased reporting that they are promoting.
Q: I am a homoeopath or student of homoeopathy. Can I come to Tanzania and sit in with you?
Karibu - Welcome. Please see the 'Join Us' section on this site.
Q: How do you and your family feel about this project?
My wife, Camilla, and I have practiced homoeopathy intensively for many years. We have undertaken homoeopathic research and have published many books and articles. But this is the most challenging and satisfying professional work we have ever done. We are daily touched by the tragedies we see, and we are daily amazed at what homoeopathy can achieve. The PLWHA in Africa desperately need all the help they can get, and although what we are doing is a drop in the ocean of suffering, each individual we can help is a whole world.
Personally our family is very much enjoying Tanzania, with its beautiful scenery, rich culture, and mostly the warmth and hospitality of the wonderful Tanzanian people.
Q: How can I help?
We need your moral support, and we need funds. If you can help in any way with a contribution, or know anyone that can, we, and the PLWHA in Africa would very much appreciate it. The more money you donate, the more people suffering with HIV/AIDS will have access to life changing homoeopathy, be able to eat nutritious food and live a healthier life. If you can organize any fund raising activities that would be of great help. In fact we depend on you for this project to continue. If you want to discuss any of this, please contact us by email or phone.
Q: What does the money go for?
Most of the funds go towards renting and maintaining the clinics, transport to outreach programs, administrators, translators, driver and pharmacist (all local Tanzanians). If we have any left over we buy food for patients. All our work is on a voluntary basis. The remedies have been kindly donated by the following homoeopathic pharmacies:
Helios Pharmacy, UK
Cemon Pharmacy, Italy
Hahnemann Pharmacy, CA, USA
Hyland's Pharamcy USA
Q: Are you a recognized charity?
Yes, we have recently attained non-profit status in Tanzania. For purposes of donation of money, we have affiliated with two non-profits, one in the UK and one in the US. You can see these details on the "Donate" page.
Irene was our Practice Manager and as she became more and more impressed with homoeopathy, we decided to send her to school to become one!
She is training to be a homoeopath in Kwale, Kenya with a fantastic school founded and run by Marie Magre from the Netherlands http://www.4kenia.nl/
Margot Diskin and her troops from Ireland have sponsored the fees, thank you so much!
Irene has now completed her first year's training and is working for us again during the holidays.
She passed all her exams with flying colours and we are very proud of her!
In two years time we will have a fully qualified Tanzanian homoeopath among our ranks; part of becoming sustainable!