A doctor makes homeopathic pills in New Delhi, India. Image Credit: AP

Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala: The Kerala Government is giving a big push to the homeopathic medicine industry; it is calling the medicine an immunity booster and has been distributing vials to around 4.5 million people across the state. The move comes as country reels under the surging coronavirus cases.

"Thiruvananthapuram tops the list with medicine distributed to around 7 lakh [700,000] people with the help of residents' association[s] and MLAs spearheading the programme. The Homeopathy Department is giving Arsenicum Album 30C as a preventive medicine to boost immunity, [a measure] which the centre had approved. In Thiruvananthapuram, four mobile units have also been set up to distribute the medicine to homes," said CS Pradeep, District medical officer, Department of Homoeopathy.

He said that there is huge demand from people for the medicine and currently the Homeopathy Department is assuring that the medicines reach the needy.

"Till day we have supplied the prescribed medicine to around 45 lakh [4.5 million] people across the state," he added.

Dr B Vijayakumar, member of state level expert group of the Indian Homoeopathic Medical Association (IHMA), said  homoeopathy has a long history of treating and preventing epidemics ever since its inception.

"It has successfully managed epidemic outbreaks of dengue fever, chikungunya, typhoid, chicken pox and many other epidemics in the state. Its effectiveness in the management of viral diseases has proved beyond doubt many a time. Homoeopathy, being one of the most sought-after alternative system[s] of medicine all over the world, is also being looked upon by many governments including India for prevention and management of COVID-19," Vijayakumar said.

He said in Kerala, the Department of Homoeopathy carries out activities through RAECH (Rapid Action Epidemic Control Cell, Homoeopathy) which officially looks after all the epidemic activities in Kerala.

"The Indian Homoeopathic Medical Association (IHMA), being part of RAECH at different levels is helping the Department of Homoeopathy to distribute these medicines all over the Kerala," he said.

VK Prasanth, the MLA who was the first to launch the distribution of homeopathy medicine in his constituency, said his experience as former Mayor of Thiruvananthapuram during the dengue fever and nipah outbreak has helped him make timely intervention.

"The centre has recognised the homoeopathy medicine to boost the immunity and thereby work as a preventive. When I associated with it, first I was criticised, but now the medicine is in high demand across the state." said Prasanth.