The 1st International Conference on Homeopathy in Malaysia (ICHOM 2011) was held in Kuala Lumpur on 15-17 July, organised jointly by the Malaysian Ministry of Health and the Malaysian Homeopathic Medical Council (MPHM).

The Secretary General of the Ministry described the thinking behind this historic event: ‘The Malaysian government provides, through this conference, a platform for experts in homeopathy from around the world to exchange insights and ideas, towards a common goal of integrating homeopathy into mainstream health care so as a safe and effective healthcare service can be assured.’

Overseas speakers were specifically chosen for their expertise in homeopathic research, to address the central question, ‘Is Homeopathy Evidence Based Medicine?’ HRI Chairman, Dr Alex Tournier, gave a series of presentations looking at developments in the field of fundamental research in homeopathy. Dr Tournier spoke about the evidence for homeopathy coming from mainstream physics, Prof Luc Montagnier’s recent work on ultra-high dilutions, and a novel theoretical model which has the potential to explain how homeopathic medicines work.

Presentations by Dr Clare Relton – a member of HRI’s Scientific Advisory Committee – addressed issues of clinical research design, the type of clinical evidence required for homeopathy and current evidence for homeopathic treatment of insomnia and fibromyalgia syndrome.

Kate Chatfield, course leader for the innovative new MSc Integrated Healthcare at UCLAN, presented the research evidence for homeopathy in the treatment of allergic conditions – a particularly relevent subject as allergies place a heavy load on the Malaysian healthcare system.

Other key topics covered by external speakers were the efficacy and real world effectiveness of homeopathy (Dr Peter Fisher – Royal London Homeopathic Hospital), homeoprophylaxis (Dr Gustavo Bracho of the Finlay Institute – Cuba and Dr Isaac Golden – Australia), the place of research in homeopathic education and current methods in homeopathic provings (Alastair Gray – Australia) and clinical research assessing the scope of homeopathy for the treatment of young patients with ischaemic heart disease (Dr Aadil Chimthanawala – India).

The UK speakers were given a warm and most generous welcome by their hosts and found the 350-400 delegates highly based homeopathy.

HRI Chief Executive, Rachel Roberts, who chaired one of the plenary sessions, will be staying in touch with Dr Suriyakhatun Osman of the Malaysian Homeopathic Medical Council to track the impact of the event on the Ministry of Health’s plans to integrate homeopathy into the Malaysian healthcare system.