The Society of Homeopaths, the UK’s largest body of registered homeopaths, is concerned to learn, in an online article by the BBC (“WHO warns against homeopathy use’), that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued caution against the use of homeopathy for childhood diarrhoea following a letter by the charity Sense About Science.
However, both the BBC and WHO have failed to acknowledge the evidence base for the use of homeopathy in the treatment of childhood diarrhoea in which, using randomised, double-blinded trials, the results were significant versus placebo(1). Chief Executive, Paula Ross says, “this is just another poorly wrapped attempt to discredit homeopathy by Sense About Science. The irony is that in their efforts to promote evidence in medicine, they have failed to do their own homework. There is a strong and growing evidence base for homeopathy and most notably, this also includes childhood diarrhoea” ————– (1)
Diarrhoea in children Treatment of acute childhood diarrhoea in NicaraguaThis trial involved 81 children aged from 6 months to 5 years in a randomised, double-blind trial of intravenous fluids plus placebo versus intravenous fluids plus homeopathic remedy individualised to the patient. The treatment group had a statistically significant decrease in duration of diarrhoea.Jacobs J. Treatment of acute childhood diarrhoea with homeopathic medicine: a randomized clinical trial in Nicaragua. Pediatrics 1994; 93: 719-725.
Treatment of acute childhood diarrhoea, repeated in NepalIn a replication of a trial carried out in Nicaragua in 1994, 116 Nepalese children aged 6 months to 5 years suffering from diarrhoea were given an individualised homoeopathic medicine or placebo. Treatment by homoeopathy showed a significant improvement in the condition in comparison to placebo.Jacobs J., Jimenez M., Malthouse S., Chapman E., Crothers D., Masuk M., Jonas W.B., Acute Childhood Diarrhoea- A Replication., Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 6, 2000, 131-139.
A meta-analysis of childhood diarrhoea trialsThis meta-analysis of 242 children showed a highly significant result in the duration of childhood diarrhoea (P=0.008). It should be noted that the World Health Organisation consider childhood diarrhoea to be the number one public health problem today because of the millions of children who die every year from dehydration from diarrhoea.J. Jacobs, WB Jonas, M Jimenez-Perez, D Crothers, Homeopathy for Childhood Diarrhea: Combined Results and Meta-analysis from Three Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trials.