Once again there is direct conflict between the believers and non-believers and somehow one wants to go with the believers this time around. A statement issued by doctors of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences categorically warns people not to use papaya leaves, goat milk, gilory and aloe vera to cure the deadly dengue.
These doctors have said that there was no scientific evidence to prove that these have curative properties even though Baba Ramdev the unofficial ambassador of the Modi government on Ayurveda and alternative medicines held conference to declare their medicinal properties.
Dr Anil Goswami, assistant professor at the Centre for Community Medicine (AIIMS) urged the people not to panic as 99 per cent of dengue cases were preventable and manageable at home. He also added, “Fatality rate in dengue case is just 0.3 per cent and 99 per cent of dengue patients can be cured with proper treatment and care at home,” he said. But even if the deaths are only 0.3 per cent parents are sentimental people. That is why a couple from Odiisha jumped from a school building after their only son died because of lack of attention from doctors. Under the circumstances if the family members are resorting to herbal treatment like goat milk and papaya leaves even if they are selling at exorbitant prices one can’t really blame them even if one life is saved. It’s now a question of who to believe your rational mind or your instinct or faith. Only a few days back there was similar news in one newspapers but it carried both the versions- what the doctors say and what the users of goat milk and papaya leaves said.
Most of the users quoted in the story asserted that they did not benefit from the medicines provided by the hospitals for days together but these so called herbal remedies proved effective within two three days. In any case whatever the doctors of AIIMS or other hospitals might claim, patients are thronging to hospitals in panic and they resort to herbal treatment only after they have exhausted their chances there. Sometimes one has to close one’s mind to reason and give in to faith.
I was faced with a similar dilemma years ago on the day there was rumour of Ganesha drinking milk in the country. At that time I was Chief Reporter in an eveninger and prominent politicians were calling me up to visit their houses to see that milk offered to Ganesha was finished. I could not visit them but my reporters did visit some of these spots to confirm that they saw Ganesha sipping milk. The editor called me and asked my opinion if we should carry this story which was absolutely without any scientific basis. But I told him that since my reporters said they had seen this happening I had to believe them and we carried this as the lead story as did almost all the media keeping their mind in the deep freezer for the time being.
By Amitabh Srivastava
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