WHO Sounds Alarm on Homeopathy

By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2009 4:24 AM CDT
Mario Raviglione, the director of the STOP TB Department of WHO, answers journalist's questions about drug-resistant tuberculosis, during a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, last year.   (AP Photo/KEYSTONE/Salvatore Di Nolfi)

(Newser) – The World Health Organization has issued a warning against homeopathic treatments for TB and other life-threatening illnesses, reports the BBC. The organization issued the alert after pressure from a group of young researchers who complained that homeopathy was being promoted in poor countries as a treatment for TB, infant diarrhea, HIV, and malaria. "When homeopathy stands in place of effective treatment, lives are lost," said the researchers.

Medics working in the UK and Africa said promotion  of homeopathy, which "does not protect people from or treat" serious illnesses, was interfering with medical care in rural and impoverished areas, where they are already struggling to deliver help. WHO scientists said homeopathy has "no place" in the treatment of TB nor offers "any benefit" in the treatment of diarrhea.