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Liberty doctor helps in Haiti

Homeopaths Without Borders are on a mission

By FRITZ MAYER

LIBERTY, NY — The earthquake that devastated Haiti on January 12, killing an estimated 200,000 people and leaving more than one million homeless, has prompted a huge response from relief workers around the world. One of those who answered the call was Dr. Nancy Eos, who has a medical practice in Liberty that involves homeopathy and other forms of medicine, including conventional.

Eos travelled to Haiti with five homeopathic colleagues on a trip that found them landing in the Dominican Republic. From there, they traveled overland into Haiti with a convoy from the Canadian military, bringing food, water and other supplies they would need for their stay. They left Haiti on February 10, and Eos spoke about the experience at her Liberty office on February 15.

The group set up shop in two tents next to a clinic and hospital, and treated more than 2,000 patients in three days. Much of the treatments were for itchy eyes and itchy scalps, probably brought about by the dust generated by the quake. There were also problems with itchy skin and upset stomachs.

The more serious injuries went into the clinic or hospital. And many of the gravest cases, such as amputees, were at the main base of relief operations some five miles away at the airport. The mission of the homeopaths was to deal with what Eos called the walking wounded.

Eos said that when they first arrived there was a lot of skepticism about homeopathy. But by the time the doctors left, the Haitians “were embracing us and thanking us.”

Eos understands those who don’t embrace homeopathy. As an emergency room doctor for 30 years, she initially had a hard time herself. “It took me a few years, when I was changing over from the regular medicine way of thinking into the homeopathic or energetic ways of thinking of medicine,” she said. “It was tough, and that’s why I don’t fault any physician now for not being able to understand us, or for not embracing our way of thinking, because it’s much different than what we were taught in medical school.”

The homeopathic treatments given for conditions, for instance, differ from standard medicines in that they don’t have a specific amount of ingredients that is measurable in milligrams. Eos said, “So if we give arnica, it doesn’t have any of the arnica flower left in it, only the energy of the arnica.” Arnica is given as a cream or as pellets.

“It’s not measureable by milligrams, and that’s why there are no side effects. But it can be measured in potency so it’s a whole different way of thinking.”

But will homeopathy or any form of therapy help the severely battered country to recover?

This was Eos’ answer: “What a big question. Yes and no. You can never recover your relatives. Can it all be rebuilt? Maybe, but certainly not in the next four or five months, and the rains are coming in the next month. At the very end, after we had left, I was kind of let down. Going in, you have that emergency department adrenaline rush; it’s go, go, go. But as soon as that was finished, I let down and started crying. I was thinking about it as an individual, that there’s no way I did anything there, because it was such a drop in the bucket compared to what needs to be done. It’s overwhelming.

“But that was thinking as an individual, and I wondered what if I thought in terms of community? We formed a team, and that team is going to bring another team and another team and another team. Homeopaths Without Borders has made this contact with this clinic and we will be down there periodically for at least a year or two. And all of the relief workers are making contact with each other, and their countries are making contact with Haiti. So, yeah, maybe they can recover.”

TRR photo by Fritz Mayer
Dr. Nancy Eos calls up a picture of her trip to Haiti. (Click for larger version)