Today we chat with Dr. Asim Shaikh, chair of the World Homeopathy Awareness Organization (WHAO). Dr. Shaik comes from a family of homeopaths and his father was a renowned homeopath. He has been a homeopath for over 25 years and is deeply involved in the homeopathic community.
AS: Can you tell us what the WHAO is and why it was established?
Asim: WHAO is a non-profit, non-governmental organization. It is incorporated as a foundation under the law of The Netherlands since 21st of November 2008.
Our goal is to create aworldwide network to promote homeopathy through an annual world homeopathy awareness week (WHAW). We provide the infra-structure of WHAW to facilitate participation to share ideas and resources, to provide promotional materials on homeopathy and facilitate public awareness. We also collect reliable research to back up our science. The World Homeopathy Awareness Organisation first took place in 2005 initiated by Dr. Gabrielle Traub, San Diego/ California.While a national Homeopathy Awareness Week had already been taking place for a few years in some countries, this was the first time that co-ordinated activities started all around the word.
AS: What kind of events are sponsored around the world and how many countries are involved?
Asim: During World Homeopathy Awareness Week (WHAW) you’ll find free public events such as lectures, media interviews, volunteer first-aid at sports events, free and low-cost clinics, written materials, Twitter and Facebook announcements, articles in the press and much more. Currently WHAW events are happening in over 40 countries.
AS:Have you found that certain WHAW activities or events are the most effective for bringing people to homeopathy?
Asim: Yes absolutely.There are some events where WHAW activities are much more noticeable, especially in India , Bangladesh, Germany etc. to name some. There are many free clinics during the week, which is a really good technique to spread homeopathy. The social media especially plays a vital role to keep our members and community very active and well informed of what’s happening around the world. More people now know about homeopathy, but there is still a lot to be done to spread the healing of homeopathy.
AS: There is still a lot of misunderstanding about homeopathy. Are WHAW programs mostly aimed at the lay community? Are there any that try to inform the medical community?
Asim: Yes, there is still a lot of misunderstanding about homeopathy and many people do not get the idea of potency and the memory effects. As our body is created with wisdom and many of the cures are within our body, which only needs to be triggered by some means but not to be suppressed by external force.Instead the internal natural healing process should be initiated and triggered as homeopathy is doing. That lets the body recover by itself by its own immune system and vital force. There are many homeopathic studies which are done individually or by groups. Many Homeopaths, especially in India, are trying to communicate with the medical community about the results found with homeopathy.
AS: You volunteer at the free clinic of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association in Canada. What motivates you to work for a free clinic? How are they funded? How many patients do you generally see each time andwhat kind of ailments are you seeing mostly?
ASIM:My main motivation is to help a person in need. It’s hard for me to see anybody in pain, and if I know a better way of healing with homeopathy, I try my best to help him out.And when after some time he comes to me thankfully and says that he is feeling much better, this gives me a lot of motivation to help those who have problems. Even at my private clinic, I do not charge those patients who cannot afford the treatment.At the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association community clinic, all remedies are funded by the Association and I provide my free volunteer services every Friday. Generally, I see at least over 50 patients completely free of charge. I see all kinds of patients including women, children, and men. Most of the patients are elderly women, so mainly the ailments are arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, asthma, eczema , etc.
AS: How did you become involved in homeopathy?
ASIM: I was involved in homeopathy as my father was also a homeopath (not practicing now) and in my younger years I mostly worked with him. In my early twenties I worked in and ran a homeopathic pharmacy along with my father’s clinic and got a lot of experience with remedies. Later on, when I completed my homeopathic studies and graduated I started practicing homeopathy.
AS:What are some of the events that occur during World Homeopathy Awareness Week?
ASIM: There are numerous events happening in the world throughout the year. Free public events such as lectures, media interviews, volunteer first-aid at sports events, free and reduced clinics, written materials, postings on Twitter and Facebook, publication articles and much more are shared in over 40 countries.
We as an organization (WHAO) encourage our members around the world to organize the events in their local area and try to advertise locally, so that local people know about homeopathy.Also,
AS:Thank you for sharing with us today Dr. Shaikh. The WHAO serves a very important function in creating grassroots awareness of homeopathy. We’re grateful for your service!
To learn what homeopathy awareness events are planned in a particular country, readers can go to the WHAO website and look under “Member Countries/ Events”