authored by Ddembe on 2. January 2010 at 14:23
But as for the reflexologists they charge a fee which Jjaja and Mzee in the village can not afford, it’s the middle class and educated for the most part accessing these “miracle” services, I say let them get what’s coming to them. If you don’t trust a physician that much to attend “research” and reflexology centres, then get what’s coming!
I believe this should be taken as a serious public health problem which I assume is your specialty.
While many people continue to see traditional and herbal doctors, these imported breeds are a more dangerous species. This is because most people even those who believe in traditional healers know that there is a point beyond which one needs to seek a more conventional cure. Manytimes, they are used as a complementary therapy which piggy backs on modern medicine. Thus one with cancer will still take their chemotherapy while attributing all successes to their complementary herbal remedy! The well trained and ethical traditional doctors and herbalists are carefull to tell their clients to go to Mulago as well.
These reflexologists are however viewed and market themselves as an alternative to conventional medicines which is what makes them most dangerous. Not only herbalists but all manner of alternative quackery is being sold to ugandans to take the place of the innadequate health care system at a not insignificant cost. The combination of these quacks peddling crap from South Africa, iran, China, India and Europe market their ‘cure all’ crap which is no better than or as harmful as what people can get from their village herbalist at much less cost or their mango tree in the garden! These have been combined with pyramid and direct marketing schemes with devastating effect! One South African company i visited looked like a bank! They were rolling in money by the fistfull marketing a nutritional supplement as cure for AIDS!
Many of these products are unlicensed or registered as OTC’s under guise of food supplements but marketed and sold as therapeutic goods and drugs in complete disregard of the NDA regulations! Coupled with the poor supervision of the NDA it is pure anarchy!
You can see the confusion displayed here by apparently literate people like RAS! He believes that a phase 3 drug trial stopped early by an ethics board due to adverse events is worse than untrialled treatments sold as cure all under fraudulent labels on the basis of untested claims and unpublished trials! At least there is a clear cut system of supervising conventional drug trials. Can he name a similar system supervising the treatments he proposes as being superior because they are marketad as “natural” and “harmless” cure alls?
Imagine the mayhem in down town so called “middle class”! Even the people marketing these products are themselves ignorant, or charlatans! Unfortunately the market des not depend only on the middle class. Many poor people sacrifice and spend money thy cannot afford for useless and even harmful treatments that they have been led to believe by the marketing and their supposedly better informed relatives like RAS are better than seeing their doctor or taking their prescription medications!