It’s taken more than ten years to see the true growth of homeopathy in Kenya. It hasn’t been so easy to achieve. It’s a challenge to convince people that these small pills work, despite having the same size, colour and taste! This is in contrast to what many Africans have been used to through the propaganda of conventional medicine.
In fact, I only came to believe in it myself after the first time I was treated, which was after I joined Abha Light College of Natural Medicine (I was like the biblical Doubting Thomas). But after much hard work the whole thing is spreading fast and homeopathy can be found in almost every province in Kenya.
About practice – it seems somewhat different in emphasis from the way it’s practiced in Western countries, because many patients here come with many more acute physical symptoms rather than psychological and emotional issues. That’s not to say the mental characteristics don’t come into play or that there aren’t psychosomatic diseases, but the emphasis is more acute in nature.
Besides, it’s not easy to convince patients that their symptoms are related in any way with their mental disturbances. It’s difficult to get a purely emotional/mental case established, especially in the villages and farmlands. People here are not sensitive enough to attach physical complaints with emotional/mental distortion. Also a lot of people don’t open themselves easily and are not free to share personal information about themselves.
Another thing is that Kenyans are not used to long consultations with their healthcare providers. The majority have spent less than five minutes being attended to in hospitals. So if someone comes to our clinics and ends up spending 1 – 2 hours in psychologically-oriented case-taking, they may end up questioning the whole practice. So we need to take time to educate them first, but nevertheless treat them promptly. By the end of the visit you must give them their remedy, because most of Kenyans go to health facilities only when they are already very sick and 99% of the cases need immediate action. In conclusion it’s amazing to see how homeopathy works after taking care of all those challenges in our practice.
The simplest way forward is generally the best. Towards the end of last year I saw a patient whose case I want to share with fellow homeopaths. Of course, I have had many successful cases, but this one made a great stir among in the community’s gossip circles because of the eccentric character involved.
A man, aged 51 years, runs a carpentry business. He’s been married four times, but to date, he’s not living with any woman… all have left him. He claimed they are only after his pocket (though to my eyes, he didn’t seem to have deep pockets anyway!) Now he’s on the way to fetch a fifth one.
He was complaining of a big ulcer on the right leg just above the ankle. It started as small pimple then suppurated and became an ulcer. This was a year and a half ago. He’d been to public hospitals but no help was forthcoming. In fact, he said the more he continued with treatments, the bigger it became…. so he decided to discontinue allopathic treatment.
Within the next six months the situation became so much worse, that everyone could detect the foul smell from the wound, even at a distance. This forced his well-wishers to pick him up and take him back to the hospital. In the hospital, they advised that a biopsy had to be done first, before anything else. This was another nightmare because no one was prepared to pay all the costs involved. So, they decided to organize a fundraising which itself was taking time.
In the meantime, one of his friends, who has been to our clinic, advised the ailing man to come to see us. When I took his case he told me that he didn’t sleep due to the pain and thinks that his days to live are near the end. He also said that he had been hypertensive for the last 18 years. He said that he can’t do his work if he’s not drunk. He says if he’s not drunk then he’s not normal, and all of his work will be full of mistakes.
On repertorization I came up with Nux vomica, and I started him on 200C once daily for 2 weeks. He was to clean the wound daily with hydrogen peroxide. Within the first week, the ulcer became dry and all the pains disappeared. His blood pressure, too, was okay and after three weeks the man was not a patient anymore.