In January 2012, I and a team of eight homeopathic colleagues went to The Gambia, Africa to volunteer our services to the Bush Homeopaths, a charitable organization offering free homeopathic treatment to the people of The Gambia. It was an incredible experience on many levels and a great reminder of what homeopathy can do, and its place as a true system of medicine.
The days were long due to the distances covered–as we travelled in a minibus from village to village setting up makeshift clinics, normally under the largest tree with the most shade! We treated all different conditions ranging from skin diseases, ailments from childbirth, worms and parasites to the chronic effects of malaria and yellow fever.
Often the main polychrests were used with clear constitutional pictures indicated. We also used the Narayani combination essences as there was little time to ponder over prescriptions. We had around five minutes to see each person, due to the large volume of people that were waiting to be seen. We treated 1600 people in seven days.
Wherever we went we were warmly received by the people –who were so pleased to see the Bush Homeopaths once again with their ‘traditional medicine.’ Often they waited patiently for hours before our arrival, with some having walked many miles.
As this was the third year the charity had been offering homeopathy, word had spread throughout the village communities of the marvelous results following homeopathic treatment. The chief of one village has donated an acre of land to the charity to be used for the building of a permanent clinic that can serve the surrounding villages of 100,000 people. The charity has also secured donations to build the clinic. It will have a pharmacy and consultation rooms as well as teaching facilities.
The aim of the Bush Homeopaths is not just to treat people, but to also establish a permanent clinical team — and to train Gambians to become practitioners through a partnership with the Centre For Homeopathic Education (of which I am the Vice Principal). It will also provide the opportunity for a postgraduate clinical training program for newly qualified practitioners to gain invaluable clinical experience.