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Homeopathy Market Crosses 1000 Crore Rupees

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New Delhi: Homeopathy is not a placebo but is effective in treating many serious diseases, including certain kinds of cancer, and costs just one-fifth of allopathic medication, say experts in the field of homeopathy that is fast becoming a preferred mode of treatment for many in India.

Homeopathic medicines, sourced from plants, “can cure cancer in the initial stages and can cure certain kinds of cancer completely, like breast cancer,” said Sushil Vats, senior homeopathic consultant and one of the main organisers at an international homeopathy event in the capital.

In fact, at the 66th World Homeopathic Congress of Limhi (Liga Medicorum Homeopathica Internationalis) here, a case study of a double side breast cancer patient who was treated successfully with homeopathy was presented. According to Vats, the patient was a “Stage five” case.

”Homeopathy can effectively support ongoing allopathic treatment in all types of cancers, improve the quality of life of the patient and also the life span,” Vats told IANS on the sidelines of the Dec 1-4 conference.

He said that homeopathy can effectively treat diabetes, thyroid, hypertension, AIDS, asthama, but the results vary from case to case. Sometimes a patient may take longer to show results, he said. “In cases treated for many years with allopathy, it becomes difficult to treat with homeopathy as the patients develop homeopathy drug dependency,” he said.

Homeopathy is in fact the number two preferred mode of treatment, after allopathy, in India, as per the government of India survey, and it costs just a fraction, he said. Besides, homeopathy has no side effects or adverse effects, he added.

According to R.K. Manchanda, deputy director (homeopathy) in the Directorate of Indian System of Medicine and Homeopathy, government of NCT and Delhi, the Delhi government “is regularly opening homeopathic dispensaries”. At present there are 92 homeopathic dispensaries in the capital, mostly in poor areas, which together see around 1.8 million patients a year.

”Mostly, the patients come to these dispensaries with difficult problems like arthritis, skin allergies and chronic gastric problem and with renal stone complaints,” Manchanda told IANS.

Manchanda recounted a survey he and a colleague had done in 2005, which showed that homeopathy costs “just one fifth of allopathic treatment to provide day-to-day care”.

The conference, attended by 2,500 delegates from 35 countries, was aimed to project India as a “hub of homeopathy in the world”, he said.

If homeopathy is so effective in treating so many difficult diseases, then why was it described as a placebo in a study by Lancet?

According to Vats, the study by Lancet was “biased”. He said in the UK, the National Health Service runs many homeopathy clinics and they get a “huge budget”. During the recession, the allopathic companies were hit and they floated the theory of homeopathy being a placebo in order to get the government withdraw the budget, he said.

Eswar Das, consultant advisor to the government on homeopathy, said the Lancet study was “not based on homeopathy concepts and philosophy”. Explaining, he said, homeopathy does not give one standard dose of a medicine to all patients suffering from a disease. Homeopathy studies the patient in terms of the symptoms, body type, nature, likes, dislikes, etc., and then prescribes the dose of medicine accordingly.

”In India, homeopathy has proper recognition. There is a believability and it is an effective form of treatment,” said Manchanda.

Stressing on purity of homeopathic medicine, the government has made manufacturers, who initially numbered around 200, comply with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for quality assurance. With this coming into force, there are now only around 30 firms that manufacture homeopathic medicines in India, said Vats. The market in India is worth around Rs.1,000 crore. The homeopathic medicine market has grown manifold in last 4-5 years, he informed.

Eswar Das said though homeopathy was “born in Germany it has flourished in India”. The system of healing was founded by German doctor Samuel Christian Hahnemann (1755).

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SOUTH ASIA

Pakistani Anti-graft body wants travel ban on Nawaz Sharif, kin

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Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog has asked authorities to place ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law on the Exit Control List to prevent them from leaving the country.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) sent a formal request to the ministry of interior. The interior ministry officials confirmed that the NAB wrote that names of Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar should be put on the Exit Control List (ECL), which listed individuals not allowed to leave Pakistan.

The NAB argued that as the trial of the three nears its conclusion, it is feared that they would leave the country.

Earlier, a similar request to place name of finance minister Ishaq Dar on ECL was not accepted, allowing him to go to London and never return.

Sharif, 68, and his family this week filed an application with the accountability court seeking a fortnight’s exemption from personal appearance from February 19 onwards to let them go to London to see Sharif’s ailing wife. Three cases were filed against Sharif and his family last year, including Avenfield properties, Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment, and Flagship Investments.

Maryam and Safdar are accused only in Avenfield properties case. The NAB had filed two supplementary references against Sharif, his sons Hasan and Hussain regarding Al-Azizia Steel Mills & Hill Metal Establishment and Flagship Investment cases.

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Pakistan “breaches obligations’ on nuclear arms reduction, UN court told

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The Hague: Pakistan is violating its “obligations” to the international community by failing to reduce its nuclear arsenal, the Marshall Islands told the UN’s highest court on Tuesday.

The small Pacific Island nation is this week launching three unusual cases against India, Pakistan and Britain before the International Court of Justice.

Majuro wants to put a new spotlight on the global nuclear threat, its lawyers said yesterday, by using its own experience with massive US-led nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s.

“Pakistan is in breach of its obligations owed to the international community as a whole,” when it comes to reducing its nuclear stockpile, said Nicholas Grief, one of the island nation’s lawyers.

Islamabad and its nuclear-armed neighbour India “continue to engage in a quantitative build-up and a qualitative improvement” of their atomic stockpiles, added Tony deBrum, a Marshallese government minister.

DeBrum warned that even a “limited nuclear war” involving the two countries would “threaten the existence” of his island nation people.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.

In 1998, the rival neighbours both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability.

The ICJ’s judges are holding hearings for the next week and a half to decide whether it is competent to hear the lawsuits brought against India and Pakistan — neither of which have signed the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

A third hearing against Britain — which has signed the NPT — scheduled to start on Wednesday will be devoted to “preliminary objections” raised by London.

The Marshalls initially sought to bring a case against nine countries it said possessed nuclear arms: Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.
Israel has never admitted to having nuclear weapons.

But the Hague-based ICJ, set up in 1945 to rule in disputes between states, has only admitted three cases against Britain, India and Pakistan, because they have accepted the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction.

Pakistan’s lawyers did not attend Tuesday’s hearings.

It did however file a counter-claim against Majuro’s allegations saying “the court has no jurisdiction to deal with the application” and insisting that the case is “not admissible”, said ICJ President Ronny Abraham.

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Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus

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Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus

New Delhi: Bangladesh is likely to drop Islam as its official religion following a series of attacks on people from other faiths in the country. The country’s Supreme Court is hearing a plea challenging the status of the official religion of the country to Islam.

Bangladesh, which was declared a secular country after its formation in 1971, was declared an Islamic country following a constitutional amendment in 1988.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the plea has challenged the declaration of Islam as the national religion of the country.

The move is being supported by leaders from the minority communities like Hindus, Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

Bangladesh has 90 per cent of Muslims, 8 per cent Hindus and remaining constitutes Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

In last month, a Hindu priest was hacked to death following an attack on a temple in Panchgarh district. Two others were seriously injured in the attack. There have been several lethal attacks on writers and bloggers.

According to a report in the Independent, Islamist groups Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh and Ansarullah Bangla Team are believed to have carried out at least seven attacks on foreign and minority people in Bangladesh in the past year.

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