The IMA functionaries claimed that distributing untested drugs that could put the lives of children in peril was a serious lapse.
The Kerala government’s decision to distribute a homeopathic preventive drug against COVID-19 among school students ahead of resumption of offline classes on November 1 has not gone down well with modern medicine practitioners and public health activists.
While the Indian Medical Association (IMA) is planning to approach the Supreme Court, the Kerala Sasthra Sahitya Parishad (KSSP) urged the government to revoke the proposal.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan recently issued a directive to distribute Arsenicum Album 30 CH, a preventive medicine against COVID-19 listed by the Union AYUSH Ministry, among schoolchildren. 30 CH relates to the drug’s potency number. Three pills are proposed to be given to the children three times in a gap of 21 days. The Supreme Court had last year observed that “homeopathy is contemplated to be used in preventing and mitigating COVID-19 as is reflected by the advisory and guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of AYUSH.”
P.T. Zacharia, president, and P. Gopi Kumar, secretary, Kerala branch of the IMA, pointed out that they would file an appeal in the apex court to remove the observation. They said that enforcing unscientific treatment methods on children would lead to a dangerous situation. “The scientific community is wondering how the government decided to distribute this medicine whose efficacy against COVID-19 has not been proved anywhere in the world. Scientific treatment methods should be based on evidence. There is ample proof to prove the efficacy of steroid drugs, monoclonal antibodies, anticoagulants against blood clotting, and vaccines which are in use now,” they said.
The IMA functionaries claimed that distributing untested drugs that could put the lives of children in peril was a serious lapse. This could also lead to a false feeling of security among parents. Neither the World Health Organisation nor the Indian Council of Medical Research had prescribed the medicine. They wondered what kind of research must have done before the Kerala government took a decision to distribute the homeopathic drug.
Meanwhile, O.M. Sankaran, president, and P. Gopakumar, secretary, KSSP, said that the government move was unscientific, inappropriate, and against the international norms for COVID treatment. They said that it would scuttle the efforts to contain the infection in schools, they added.
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