Congratulations to the Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Interim Executive Dean: Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Ashley Ross who recently had the COVID-19 case analysis paper that he had published together with his international colleagues listed on the World Health Organisation (WHO) website.
Prof Ross has made DUT proud as his name is listed on the WHO website, amongst health experts from across the globe who wrote the topical paper entitled: Data Collection during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Learning from Experience, Resulting in Bayesian Repertory.
Giving insight on the paper, Prof Ross said they worked on it as a team of 14 homeopathic doctors. He said they decided to use the unique opportunity of the pandemic to explore both the idea that there were indeed a small group of homeophathic medicines indicated in the treatment of the various manifestations of COVID-19. They used the data derived from the successful treatment of patients with SARS-CoV 2 infection to test the reliability if symptoms used to identify the appropriate homeopathic medicine for a given case of disease.
“This latter analysis was based on Bayes’ Theorem, and entailed the application of likelihood ratios (comparing the likelihood of a symptom in a cured patient against the likelihood of that same symptom in a reference population) to determine the symptoms most indicative of a particular medicine for the case at hand,” said Prof Ross.
He revealed that the investigation was led by a very well-regarded Dutch researcher, Dr Lex Rutten, and 13 other homeopathic researchers, epidemiologists and clinicians in the USA, UK, Argentina, India, Italy, Belgium, Greece, Turkey and, of course, South Africa. They commenced their research in May 2020, and the case collection and analysis was conducted over a period of five months.
“The original paper was published in the journal, Homeopathy (formerly the British Homoeopathic Journal) in January 2020. WHO listed the paper on their website on 01 February 2021, under the heading: Global literature on coronavirus disease,” Prof Ross said.
Seeing the listing of their paper on the WHO website left him filled with tremendous excitement.
“It is no secret that homoeopathy is very erroneously regarded in some quarters as being ‘unscientific’, so it was indeed both exciting and an honour that our work, which is extremely painstaking and accountable, was recognised as being worthy of dissemination by the WHO,” said Prof Ross.
Furthermore, he revealed it was the first time that any homeopathic research in the area of COVID-19 has been identified by the WHO. He says WHO does have a Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014 – 2023 that includes a range of Complementary and Alternative Medical (CAM) systems (including homeopathy), which seeks to develop the application of CAM medicines within national and global policies, but this acknowledgement is nevertheless a ‘first’.
Speaking about his relationship with his international colleagues Prof Ross said: “As a researcher and clinician I am highly regarded internationally. My relationship with homeopathic clinicians and researchers across the globe is extremely important to me. Through various collaborations, we have developed the global understanding of homeopathic proving methodology (my specific area of expertise), and in numerous other ways extended the homeopathic research envelope.”
Although this is his first paper with this particular grouping of researchers, Prof Ross has published and presented papers with a number of international co-authors. Most of these publications have been in the area of proving methodology or clinical verification. The COVID-19 paper (and the app that they developed alongside it [https://hpra.co.uk/]) is one of two international collaborations on COVID-19 that he is currently engaged in.
The CLIFICOL project, which is a much bigger case analysis project, is using case reports to explore much more fundamental homeopathic concepts, while producing a very detailed record of the homeopathic treatment of COVID-19 across the globe. The project seeks ultimately to analyse 10 000 successful cases.
“The CLIFICOL project is expected to yield a number of papers, and I am looking forward to collaborating on those. Of course, a researcher’s work is never done, and I have lots to explore and write about in reference to homeopathic proving methodology and case verification. Our work on developing monographs for new homeopathic medicines, of course, is also ongoing, as is my writings on homeopathic materia medica. I am expecting my work on the materia medica of 13 new medicines to be published (in a book) by June 2021, as well as a book on the homeopathic application of porcine sarcodes (co-authored with two colleagues in the USA and Ireland) to be published in September 2021,” concluded Prof Ross.
Pictured: Interim Executive Dean: Faculty of Health Sciences, Prof Ashley Ross.