This July, saw a memorable event in the homoeopathic corridors of Malaysia. The grand celebration was the organization of the First International Conference on Homoeopathy, from 15th-17th July 2011 at the august assembly hall of Putra World Trade Center, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The theme was “Is Homoeopathy Evidence Based?” It was jointly hosted by the Ministry of Health (Traditional & Complimentary Division) and the Malaysian Homoeopathic Medical Council.
The preconference workshop commenced with the deliberation of the homoeopathic gastro-enterologist from Australia Dr. Hassim Seedat on “Finding the Similimum in Gastrointestinal Disorders” where he guided the audience on the method of case taking and repertorization along with presentation of a few cases of Ulcerative Colitis from his practice. It was followed by a presentation on “Introduction to Evidence Based Medicine” by Datin Dr. Rugayah Bakri (Head of Health Technology Assessment Unit, Ministry of Health, Malaysia.)
Mrs. Sin Lian Thye spoke on “Steps in searching for literature” while Mrs. Noormah Mohd Darus gave a detailed presentation on “Evaluating the Quality and Methodology of Systematic Review and Rct papers.” Dr. Izzuna Mudla Mohamed Ghazali (Epidemiologist) took a marathon 2 hour session on “Evaluating the Quality and Methodology of observational papers” and “Summarizing and Synthesizing Evidence.” She then joined Mrs. Noormah and Dr. Bakri for a group work on “Appraising a Paper.” Dr. Ardavan Shahrdar (Tehran) spoke on the role of Chronic Miasms in “Behcet’s Disease” where Dr. Geeta Rani Arora exhibited the finesse of the homoeopathic software “RADAR” in clinical practice.
The inauguration ceremony saw much fanfare. After the official opening speech read on behalf of Y.B. Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai; Minister of Health, Malaysia, the Keynote Address was delivered by YBhg. Dato’ Hasan Abdul Rahaman, Director General of Health, Malaysia. He spoke at length on “Integrating Traditional and Complementary Medicine into Malaysian Health Care.” The preliminary sessions were on Evidence based Homoeopathy Practice and Homoeopathic Trials and Research. It started with Dr. Peter Fisher’s (United Kingdom) exposition on “The efficacy and real world effectiveness of Homoeopathy” followed by “Homoeopathic Prescribing in Rheumatology” and finally “Integrating Homoeopathy Into the National Health System: UK experience.” He went on to answer 3 pertinent questions : Do homoeopathic medicines have beneficial effects that are not placebo effects? Does homoeopathy as a whole system of medicine provide benefit in terms of effectiveness and cost-effectiveness; and is homoeopathy safe?
Towing the line of the keynote address, Dr. Azman Abu Bakar – IHSR Director, Ministry of Health, Malaysia painted the Malaysian picture on “Evidence Based Medicine : Application in Traditional and Complementary Medicine and the way forward.”
The conference experienced three well researched papers by Alastair Gray (Australia). This boisterous National head at Endeavour College of Natural Health spoke on “Systemic Review of Positive & Negative Homoeopathic Trials in the Treatment & Management of Named Conditions & Diseases”, “Homoeopathic research: Pathway to higher education”, and the last paper on ” Contemporary method in the Ethics, Conducting, Collating, Extracting and Publishing of Homoeopathic Pprovings.” Dr. Clare Relton (United Kingdom) also presented three papers: “Homoeopathy : What Type of Clinical Evidence is Required”; “How to Design Homoeopathic Clinical Randomized Controlled Trials that Work” and “Understanding the Evidence: Insomnia and Fibromylosis Syndrome.”
The following sessions saw the works of a young and dynamic homoeopath cum biophysicist from the United Kingdom, Dr. Alexander Tourner. Combining his expertise in both the subjects (physics and homoeopathy), Alex presented papers on ” The Physics of Homoeopathy : The State of the Evidence” and “Theoretical Model of Homoeopathy: How Does it Work?” His final paper vividly highlighted “Prof. Luc Montagnier’s Research on high dilutions and its Application in Homoeopathy.”
The Head of the world renowned Finlay Institute at Cuba Dr. Gustavo Bracho narrated his experiences in “Homoeopathic Approach to Dengue: Recent Experiences and Strategies”, “Large Scale Homoeoprophylaxis for Epidemic control: Leptospirosis” and “Vaccines & Homoeoprophylaxis: Experiences and Potentials.”
Then came the turn of the veteran homoeopath from Australia, Dr. Issac Golden. He spoke on “Evidence Base of Homeoprophylaxis” and “Long term Homoeoprophylaxis in Endemic conditions.”
One session was dedicated to discussing the present scenario of homoeopathy in Malaysia. Dr. Ramli Abd. Ghani Director T & CM division, Health Ministry, Malaysia, deliberated on “Current & Future Regulation for T & CM Practioners” while Dr. Suriyakhatun Osman, from Malaysia Homoeopathic Medical Council spoke on “Current Development of Homoeopathy in Malaysia.” Dr. Reishmi Devan of the Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences gave the grass root reality of “Education and Training In Homoeopathy.” The session ended with the paper on “Conduct of HTA in T & CM : EBM Approach” by Datin Dr. Rugayah Bakri.
Dr. Kate Chatfield (United Kingdom) spoke on 2 topics “Systemic Review of the Research Evidence for Homoeopathy In the treatment of Allergic conditions” and “The Nature of Evidence and Homeopathy.”
The grand conference witnessed the final paper in the form of “Clinico-angiographic profile in Young patients with Ischaemic Heart Disease & Scope of Homoeopathy”, a decade long research carried out by Dr. Aadil Chimthanawala from India.
This conference was a platform for the homoeopathic fraternity and the general public of Malaysia to understand more about homoeopathy – and it served its purpose well.