Since 1995, a group of European and Nepalese homeopaths, headed by Tinus Smits from Holland and Ortrud Lindeman from Barcelona, began a project to create a centre for homeopathic medicine in Nepal: the International Homeopathic Clinic of Bhaktapur. It is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) which aims to improve health care in Nepal, one of the world’s poorest countries. The clinic is run by a Nepalese team, and supported by European colleagues who are on location on a monthly cycle to help in patient care and vocational training: the centre is also a training centre for future healthcare professionals in the area of homeopathy and natural medicine. During morning and early hours they work in the Homeopathic Clinic to give supervision and see complicated cases. The rest of the day, they prepare lectures for the College, seminars for homeopathic colleagues in the country, and have appointments with the Professional Health Council, ministries, etc.
Bhaktapur is one of the three cities of the Kathmandu valley, with 200,000 inhabitants. In Nepal, there is only one doctor for 80.000 people and in some remote areas, there is even only one doctor for 200,000 people! The Nepalese live in very precarious conditions: lack of clean drinking water, lack of a healthcare system, uncontrolled deforestation, high levels of environmental contamination in the cities, and rapid population growth. This last year, there is also a shortage of electricity in the country.
The clinic serves a large number of patients, mostly from one of the cities and villages of Kathmandu Valley, many of whom are helped almost for free due to the lack of financial resources. Patients are generally seen at the clinic but those who are unable to attend are sometimes seen at their homes.
In 2008, we started with the training of Homeopathic Health Assistants, a 3 year course in Primary Health Care and Homeopathy. The College and Training is recognised by the Nepalese government and provides young students from all over the country the opportunity to study without having to travel abroad. They can, then, return to their community to treat patients and earn a living from their work. To read more about the project: www.homeopathynepal.com
Case: a boy with typhus
A father brought his 15 year old son, who was suffering from typhus. The boy was terribly ill, with a high fever and weakness. I first gave him Belladonna due to his general symptoms. The next day, however, the father brought him back as he was even worse than before. I then gave him Baptisia because of his puffy face and the fact that he could barely think or speak; his father had to answer questions for him. The next day, they came again and the condition had deteriorated even more. The boy reminded me of my own 15 year old son in the Netherlands and I realised that all day long I had had a sort of anticipation anxiety concerning their next appointment with me. I was very worried about him and I knew that the parents could not afford to send him to hospital. The third day, the father came carrying his son, as he was too weak to walk. He still had a very high fever. He said that he had a terrible headache and that he could hardly keep his eyes open because his eyelids were so heavy. All his muscles hurt and on examining him, I noticed that he was trembling. Fortunately, I thought of Gelsemium – it is important to note that I myself was almost in a Gelsemium state, as though I had to pass an exam. If I did not succeed the boy would die. I put Gelsemium 200 in his mouth and had him take a sip of Gelsemium 200 dissolved in water once per hour. The next day, they showed up again, and what a joy: the boy had slept well, the fever was gone, he was able to eat and drink, and the headache has disappeared. The father was extremely happy and so was I! A few days later, I saw the boy walking through the streets of Bhaktapur, strong and healthy, the way a fifteen year old should be.
Photos: Huib Wigtenburg
Keywords: Nepal, homeopathic clinic and training, typhus, weakness, high fever, headaches, muscles pain, trembling
Remedies: Baptisia confusa, Belladonna, Gelsemium sempervirens