Call to bridle fake naturopathy institutes

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Association says unqualified people taking patients for a ride

Go on a fast for two weeks at a stretch and get ‘qualified’ to be a naturopathy practitioner. Claims such as these are among those put out by scores of institutions offering naturopathy treatment that have sprung up in Kerala as there is no regulation to control them.

The Indian Naturopathy and Yoga Graduates Medical Association has urged the State government to step in to check the activities of such institutes, especially in the wake of the arrest of self-styled naturopath Jacob Vadakkanchery.

On bail

Mr. Vadakkanchery is now on bail following his arrest on the charge of impeding the Health Department’s efforts to contain contagious diseases such as leptospirosis, post-floods. Modern medicine practitioners, however, continue to question naturopaths’ legitimacy calling the practice unscientific.

Shimji Nair, State president of the association, told The Hindu on Tuesday that unqualified naturopathy practitioners continued to thrive in the State because there was no recognised institution offering courses in the subject here. Naturopathy has been part of the Indian Systems of Medicine for long and colleges in States such as Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka offer graduate courses in the subject, some of them even run by the government.

In Kerala, though it is mandatory to complete a five-and-a-half year course and registration under the Travancore-Cochin Medical Council to practice naturopathy, unqualified people were exploiting the ignorance of the people and misleading patients.

“Also, there are many institutes offering unauthorised diploma courses too. There is a naturopathy centre in Kannur which claims that anyone ready to undergo fast for 14 days at their place can start practising. There are others offering six-month-long or year-long courses,” Dr. Nair said.

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