The Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine has been forced to backtrack from its un-researched claims that its homeopathic formula is highly effective for dengue-fever protection.
“It’s just a supplementary measure that needs further research,” Dr Sunpong Ritthiruksa admitted in his capacity as the chair of the department’s centre for herbal medicine, Thai traditional medicine, folk medicine and alternative medicine.
He was forced to speak up after several prominent lecturers and health professionals called him out over the claim. Sunpong said last Friday that a homeopathic formula made from eupatorium perfoliatum 200C had been proved effective in preventing dengue fever. His agency is now handing out it for free.
“It’s 89.9 per cent effective,” as he cited findings from a journal.
Chulalongkorn University’s lecturer Jessada Denduangboripant argued that homeopathy was pseudoscience and was something that the Public Health Ministry should not promote.
“The promotion can be dangerous,” he warned.
Dengue fever has hit more than 28,000 people in Thailand so far this year – up by 1.7 times from the same period a year earlier. Of them, 43 died.
Sunpong continued his back-tracking yesterday. He reiterated that to prevent dengue-fever infections, people still needed to focus on measures such as changing the water in flower vases weekly, keeping their home tidy, eliminating mosquito-breeding grounds and covering water containers.
“I am worried that people may misunderstand what I said earlier,” Sunpong said.
He then clarified that eupatorium perfoliatum 200C was not for treating dengue fever, contrary to the baseless claims he had made just three days before.
Statistics compiled by the Disease Control Department show the number of dengue fever patients this year is far higher than the number five years ago. As of June 11 this year, dengue fever hit 28,785 people in Thailand. During the same period in 2014, the number stood at 10,670.
SOURCE: The Nation
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