KS: Welcome to Hpathy, Dr. Odalys Cespedes. It is a great pleasure for me to welcome a Cuban homeopath!
OC: Thank you for inviting me! It is a pleasure for me to talk with you and I hope I can provide interesting information. Through you, I got to know the valuable work of Hpathy in propagating homeopathy.
KS: Homeopathy is an officially accepted and recognized science in Cuba. Could you tell us a bit more about the role of homeopathy in the Cuban health system?
OC: In the 1990’s a group of foreign professionals began to provide us with information and to choose among important schools and professionals those with extensive experience and research studies to support our education.This was necessary before 1995. After qualifying as a homeopathic physician in Buenos Aires I took on the responsibility for the National Group of Homeopathy of the Ministry of Health of the Cuban Republic. Since then, a long journey started for me and many other professionals who have supported my efforts. The integration of homeopathy in the national health service was officially recognized and homeopathic practices were opened throughout the country, as well as specialized pharmacies to prepare homeopathic remedies. In this way we increased awareness of homeopathy for our patients and gave them a further possibility for treatment. It is a very extensive process which we consider as synthesis.
KS: How readily does the Cuban population accept homeopathy ?
OC: Culturally there was a lot to teach, but our people are receptive and understanding. Nevertheless it is an ongoing task and it’s very important to show positive results with our homeopathic treatment. There is no better evidence than the statistically significant clinical amelioration of the state of health. It is very important for professionals to confirm and demonstrate the effectiveness of homeopathy through different scientific works.
KS: Although homeopathy was already introduced in Cuba in the 19th century, it only got well established at the end of the 20th century. What factors contributed to its development and rise there?
OC: There were a lot of elements which influenced the development favorably, especially the investigative approach in the education of Cuban professionals and the openness of conventional allopaths to learning different therapeutic methods. Its scientific validation contributed to a better quality of medical care for our population. The collaboration of professionals with others inside and outside the country optimized the contributions. This allowed us to choose the best way for homeopathy in Cuba.
KS: Homeopaths have successfully treated epidemics in Cuba. Could you tell us more about it?
OC: Let me tell you a personal anecdote. In 1997 I organized the first National Homeopathy Congress through the Ministry of Health, which was unprecedented and focused on the international delegations which were invited to this event. While I was occupied with the organization of the event, the Ministry of Health asked for my help, as there was an epidemic at the Institute of Ophthalmology in Havanna. We chose the opportunity to apply homeopathy and provided the necessary information to our ophthalmological colleagues. Through combined effort and after the determination of the genius epidemicus, the acute disease was treated with Euphrasia and the entire emerging situation solved within 72 hours.
Like this, there were other outbreaks of different ailments which were also cured by the application of homeopathy. The last event was the Influenza AH1N1, for whose treatment a representative group in the area of Havanna was chosen by homeopathic colleagues, which was extended later to other municipalities to enhance the treatment effect.
KS: Tarentula Cubensis has been proven in Cuba and Cuban homeopaths have suggested that their rich flora is a precious source for homeopathic remedies. Have there been provings of other remedies?
OC: Currently there is a new remedy under investigation which may be useful in the treatment of cancer. Very interesting data has been collected, but since the study is not finished, I prefer to withold more detailed information.
(KS: At this moment we have not received any further information’s about the outcome of the study. However, the news channel cnewsworld reported that Cuban researchers started the first phase of registering a new homeopathic remedy for cancer patients with a base of scorpion venom. The remedy, known as Escozul in Cuba, was first developed in the 1990s in the Guantanamo province.)
KS: You are specialized in general medicine and children’s psychiatry. Do you like working with children ?
OC: I love working with children and think it is the stage in life where we do everything without considering whether we should or not. That means the child opens the door to its life with its body and mind, without any interference. It does not protect itself or expect to be understood. Most important, each affection treated at an early age will prevent more serious complaints in later years, which is satisfyng for every health professional.
Clinical medicine and child psychiatry, together with homeopathy, allowed me to facilitate, in many cases, a kÃnder method of treatment. As a physician, I had the opportunity to chose the best therapeutic approach in each case, based on the clinical picture.
KS: You have lived and worked in Cuba, Argentina and Italy, and have met homeopaths from all over the world. What defines a good homeopath ?
OC: I think a good homeopath is not more nor less than a good physician, who dedicates himself constantly to research, study and the deepening of his knowledge. His most important motivation is to cure or alleviate the health problems of human beings.
I think there are no better or worse physicians, nor are there differences because one is a homeopath and the other an allopath, or because we are from different countries or speak different languages. The universal language is our vocation to absolutely dedicate ourselves to our patients. This is what defines every good physician on the planet.
KS: This interview would not be complete without some comments on your deceased husband Hugo Carrara, who was a passionate homeopath and much beloved by his colleagues and friends. What legacy does he leave for other homeopaths ?
OC: Hugo’s legacy is irreplaceable, primarily because of his incomparable human qualities and his absolute dedication to homeopathy. All his support and investigations still accompany us in today’s academic interventions.
One of his contributions was the Argentine Method of Pure Homeopathy which he developed together with Dr. Marcelo Candegabe. They had observed that the general mistake in case taking was that too much importance was paid to symptoms without individualized modalities. They established principles and rules which allow a more practical clinical case taking within classical homeopathy. Modified symptoms are evaluated hierarchically, from historical and still present symptoms, to the actual modified local symptoms. In this way the repertorial analysis is standardized and permits an objective analysis of symptoms free of subjective speculation and prejudices. Their conclusions are described in the book “Approximation to the Pure Method of Homeopathy”.
I had the honor to be chosen to accompany him until his last day, together with his close friend and life brother Dr. Marcelo Candegabe. We will always remember the precious life’s work he left for his blessed homeopathy.
KS: Thank you for the enlightening interview ! We wish you all the best !
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