That is what the Cuban government did when it used homeopathy to prevent its population from the often deadly disease Leptospirosis or Swamp Fever. This bacterial disease is spread by contaminated water and therefore most prevalent in the tropics during the rainy season. Cuba’s highly effective public health and national surveillance programs had recorded the increase of numbers of this disease corresponding to heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding. In 2007, when heavy rains created serious flooding, the government was faced with having only enough conventional vaccines to cover 15,000 people. These conventional vaccines are very expensive to produce and take time to establish immunity in a person. Faced with a dilemma, the Cuban government decided to use its internationally reputable vaccine-making Finlay Institute, to create homeopathic remedies from the four most common strains of the Leptospirosis causing bacteria. Using the public health system to bring this remedy door-to-door to 2.4 million people, they achieved resistance to the disease in a very short period of time. Within a few weeks the number of cases had fallen to 4 cases per 100,000 per week, significantly fewer than the predicted 38 for those weeks of the year. The 8.8 million population of the other provinces did not receive homeopathic intervention and the number of sick people was as high as predicted. The effect of the homeopathic prevention was holding: the following year (2008) experienced an 84% reduction in infection in the treated region. In the same period, an increase of 22% of disease was seen in the untreated region. Since then, Cuba has integrated homeopathic prevention for other epidemics such as Dengue fever and Influenza.
Read the Preliminary Report by the Cuban Authors:
Dr. Concepción Campa, Dr. Luis E. Varela, Dr. Esperanza Gilling, MCs. Rolando Fernández, Tec. Bárbara Ordaz, Dr. Gustavo Bracho, Dr. Luis García, Dr. Jorge Menéndez, Lic. Natalia Marzoa, Dr. Rubén Martínez.
“The Finlay Institute is a centre dedicated to development and production of vaccines; we also bring our WHO qualified facilities to all homeopaths and homeopathic medicine. The Finlay Institute acts as a supporting institution for research, production and development of high quality homeopathic products. However, in accordance with the social objective addressing prevention of infectious diseases, we focus on homeo- prophylaxis as strategy to attenuate the impact of preventable diseases on the developing world, the ones that need it the most.
Thus, development and evaluation of nosodes (homeopathic remedy prepared from the diseased material), appears to be our main approach to fill up the breakthrough on current conventional strategies based on vaccination. Similarly with vaccination interventions, massive applications of prophylactic nosodes give rise to a greater impact on population health compared with individualized therapies. In addition, the easy administration and low economic resources needed, make this alternative really suitable and accessible for developing countries and almost the best for emergency situations comprising epidemic outbreaks and natural disasters. The Cuban experiences of massively administered nosodes supports their use as promising solution to confront epidemiological dangerous situations.
In October – November 2007, three provinces of the eastern region of Cuba were affected by strong rainfalls causing floods of big areas and several damages to sanitary and health systems. The risk of leptospirosis infection raised extremely dangerous levels with about 2 million people exposed to potentially contaminated water.
Considering this situation, the Finlay Institute prepared a leptospira nosode 200 CH using 4 circulating strains of bacteria and following international quality standards. A multidisciplinary team travelled to the affected regions to conduct the massive administration of the nosode. Coordinated action with the public health system infrastructures allowed the administration of preventive remedies consisting in two doses (7- 9 days apart) of the nosode to about 2,4 million people (4,8 million of doses). The coverage of the intervention rose up to 95% percent of the total population of the three provinces at risk.
The epidemiology surveillance after the intervention showed a dramatic decrease of morbidity two weeks after and a reduction to zero of mortality of hospitalized patient. The number of confirmed leptospirosis cases remains at low levels and below the expected levels according to the trends and rain patterns.
A reinforcing application was given after the hit of the hurricane IKE in 2008, using the nosode diluted to 10 MC. Strict epidemiologic surveillance is carried out in these provinces. Up to date results will be presented.
The results supported the design of new strategies for leptospirosis control. This experience could be extended to other diseases and other countries. The Finlay Institute is offering our facilities and specialists to spread this alternative to all regions needing emergent alternatives for epidemic control and prevention”.