Insight into the state of Homeopathy in Egypt
CLEVER H.: How did you come to homeopathy? What made you want to learn homeopathy and treat patients? Where did you learn homeopathic medicine? Since when are you practising homeopathy?
Hani Abdel Kader: It started in 2008. Before I was interested in alternative medicines in general during my Pharmacy college study and after graduation I had a distance course from the Indian board of Alternative medicines. I started my study with the Egyptian Society of Homeopathy for 2 years and then with Allen College through a post-graduate distance course for another 2 years. I started practising during my study with members in family and friends in 2009 and then I made a small room in my pharmacy in 2010 where I can see my patients.
CLEVER H.: What is the current state of homeopathy in Egypt? Has the national healthsystem any consideration for homeopathy / CAM in general? Does the government support homeopathy? Does homeopathy, or could homeopathy, in your opinion, fill a gap in the healthcare system?
Hani Abdel Kader: Homeopathy is not approved nor legalized in Egypt by the Ministry of Health. We study through non-governmental institutes and we practice without license. This may include all CAM healing modalities however some are being taught in universities like acupuncture in The Physical therapies colleges. We don’t have serious laws to legalize CAM and this is one of the main reasons we have too many scam practitioners who give a bad image about CAM in general.
Of course homeopathy can fill a big gap. It’s very suitable to a lot of poor people who can’t afford pricey allopathic medications which they have to take for long time.
CLEVER H.: Is the public aware of homeopathy or complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)? Do patients want / demand homeopathy / CAM? Is there access to homeopathy from all sectors of society?
Hani Abdel Kader: The public are aware of CAM like herbs, cupping or acupuncture but very few have any idea about homeopathy. Surprisingly classy and rich people are the main audience who knows and use homeopathy, not the poor who may need it more.
CLEVER H.: In the time of political change and upheaval that have been happening in Egypt, do patients seek homeopathic treatment? Was the situation of homeopathy better before or is it better now? Has practising homeopathy become more difficult for you since the political changes?
Hani Abdel Kader: Well, no big difference. Before the military coup in 30 June 2013, we were expecting a new parliament and we had hopes that it will set some legislations to organize and legalize CAM in Egypt and of course homeopathy would be included. If we had some few members in the parliament who believe in CAM, then they could throw a stone in the still water and make things move forward a little bit. Everything vanished after the coup.
I still practice but since I am basically a pharmacist and I run my own pharmacy so practising homeopathy is a side job to me or you may call a hobby at the moment.
CLEVER H.: Do more patients seek homeopathic treatment now? Would you say that the health problems that patients come and see you with are different now, as compared to before?
Hani Abdel Kader: No big difference.
CLEVER H.: Would you say your patients come in principal from a specific part of society, social class? Is there an interest in homeopathy in all of the population?
Hani Abdel Kader: As I answered before, they usually belong to higher classes. I am sure if it’s approved by the government and well-advertised and had the right support, new classes will join and be interested too.
CLEVER H.: Do you need to promote your clinic more now, or do patients come more readily? Can you access homeopathic remedies readily?
Hani Abdel Kader: Yes, I need to promote myself since I practice homeopathy as a side job. Some people know me from my Facebook page. We have few people who are able to provide remedies here. They bring them from abroad. Some have the “machine” which makes remedies, which I don’t recommend or support.
I bring some creams, ointments and tissue salts. All from abroad, USA or Asia.
CLEVER H.: What would you say needs to happen in the country, for homeopathy to gain more recognition and acceptance, and for patients to be made aware of the existence of this alternative medical approach?
Hani Abdel Kader: We need more political stability for sure. A democratically elected parliament who can set laws to legalize CAM and Homeopathy is another important thing. The ministry of Health is full of corruption something that must change someday. Of course big pharmaceutical companies are a part of this corruption influencing medical doctors to prescribe what they want, not what patients may really need. We need governmental official colleges and schools to teach CAM and Homeopathy.
CLEVER H.: What are your hopes and fears for the future of Homeopathy in Egypt?
Hani Abdel Kader: I hope it will be understood, spread and be easily accessible. I am afraid this will take some time but I believe that future is for natural healing modalities.
CLEVER H.: Is there anything else you might like to mention or share with us readers?
Hani Abdel Kader: I believe in integration in general, so to ease suffering should be our top priority. George Vithoulkas once said in his book “The science of homeopathy”, that anyone who is using any healing method and he feels good mentally, emotionally and physically then we should NOT interfere and leave him with what he is using. Homeopathy works many times and sometimes it doesn’t work and this is the same for every healing method. The more we are able to integrate between different healing methods, who work harmonically, the more we are doing a great favour to our patients in easing their pains and suffering.
CLEVER H.: Thank you very much for participating in this interview!