Homeopathy is practiced in India by more trained health professionals than in any other country in the world, and it is estimated that there are currently 300,000 homeopaths and more than 300 homeopathic hospitals in the sub-continent.
The Indian homeopathy market, often regard- ed amongst the poorer members of society as the primary method of treatment, was expected to outpace the growth of the pharmaceutical industry in the country by the end of 2010 - although these figures have not yet been confirmed. The homeopathic industry, according to reports, is growing at a rate of 25%-30% while the pharmaceutical industry is increasing by 13%-15%.
It is, therefore, of little surprise that Mother Teresa studied homeopathy with Dr Jai Chand, a highly respected Indian homeopath, with the aim of helping the poorer members of society. During her lifetime, her mission opened four charitable dispensaries, the first of which was in 1950. She, personally, would not treat individuals with chronic or potentially fatal illnesses but she assisted those practitioners who did and often prescribed homeopathic medicine for first aid situations.
She believed, according to those who worked alongside her, that homeopathic treatment is indispensable for the poor and distressed people of India” due to its “easy approach, effectiveness and low cost” (Gomes, 1988). Given that 41.6% of the total Indian population falls below the international poverty line and the nation is estimated to inhabit a third of the world’s poor, it would appear to be essential that homeo- pathic medical colleges are given the resources to flourish.
This article was first published by the ARH in the Septemeber 2011 issue 16 of 'Homeopathy Healthy Medicine'.
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