An Assessment of a Public Health Initiative of Homeopathy for Primary Teething
05 February 2020 (online)
Background: A public health initiative, ‘Homoeopathy for the Healthy Child’, was undertaken focusing promotion of healthy teething by provision of home-based care through pre-identified homeopathic medicines for complaints during primary teething. The paper reports the impact on teething and episodes of diarrhoea and upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) in children.
Methods: Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) were trained in child care and usage of a kit comprising six medicines: namely Calcarea phosphoricum (CP) 6x, Ferrum phosphoricum 3x, Magnesium phosphoricum 6x, Belladonna 30C, Chamomilla 30C and Podophyllum 30C. Children aged between 6 months to 1 year, and those who still had no teeth between the ages of 1 to 3 years, received CP.
Home-based care for diarrhoea, URTI and mild fever was provided using the other five medicines. Dentition pattern and diarrhoea/URTI episodes, as reported by parents to the ASHAs, were recorded for 12 months. Outcome assessed was change in dentition pattern, diarrhoea/URTI episodes, and feedback by the ASHAs.
Results: 11,426 children aged 6 months to 1 year, and 100 children aged 1-3 years with no teeth, were followed up for 12 months and dentition pattern was recorded. 0.255 proportion of children (p < 0.001) enrolled at 6 months, as compared to 0.039 enrolled at 12 months, had 6 teeth at 12 months. Incidence of diarrhoea showed progressive decline with Podophyllum or Chamomilla; likewise, URTI with Belladonna. Out of 581 ASHAs’ feedback, 566 observed homeopathy as beneficial and 3 observed no effect; 12 did not respond.
Conclusion: To our knowledge, there has previously been no study reporting dentition pattern in children after using CP. This program, with regular use of CP and home-based care with homeopathy and accepted by the community, opens avenues for further validation in studies using a comparator group.
Keywords: Calcarea phosphoricum, children, dentition, diarrhea