Opinion: Natural healingPOSTED: 08/28/11 9:49 PM
The action undertaken by the Inspectorate of the health Ministry last Tuesday against the Honorable Priest Kailash Kay Leonce at the Cultural Center seemed at first the right thing to do. A man from St. Lucia comes to St. Maarten, “asks people an admittance fee of $20, then starts harking “bottles containing substances claiming to be beneficial to the treatment of specified diseases” for $240 a pop, while he arrived on the island on a tourist visa – yeah, it seemed like the inspectorate had caught a bad guy who posed a danger to the health of St. Maarteners.
But now that we have met Kailash (see our front page article), and now that we have looked at some details of the intervention, there are plenty of questions that need to be answered –and those answers will have to come from the inspectorate.
It seems clear that a disgruntled doctor, who called in at the Lloyd Richardson radio show on Monday because he disagreed with Kailash’s opinion that chemotherapy does not cure cancer, also made a phone call to the health inspectorate and that this phone call inspired the ministry to show up with all the inspectors it had on the payroll at the Cultural Center.
Wow, what a decisive action that was. But wait, there is more to the story. Based on signed documents Kailash showed this newspaper, we know that the inspector general signed off on the confiscation of 144 bottles (never mind their content, we’ll get to that). But the official report states that the inspectors confiscated 127 bottles. Since each bottle has a market value of $40, it looks like somebody made off with $680 worth of merchandise. Is there an inspector who looks into this type of irregularities as well?
Ah, and then the content. “Illegally imported pharmaceuticals” the inspector wrote on the confiscation-list.
Pharmaceuticals? We’re pretty sure that buy valium phuket Kailash wouldn’t want to be found dead with pharmaceuticals in his products. The bottles contain herbal supplements.
Okay, one could argue about how effective the brews are, but that is not this issue here.
The point is that the inspectors grabbed Kailash before he started his lecture. Therefore, he was not selling anything – at least not yet. Kailash said yesterday that he did not intend to sell anything anyway. That may be true or it may not be true; fact is that nothing was sold, nothing was offered for sale. The confiscated bottles were not even in the lecture hall, they were in the back of a car.
So what is going on here? Many people have lost their faith in traditional medicine, and they are looking for alternatives. Rastafarians like Kailash offer such an alternative with herbal supplements.
After meeting with Kailash, we are convinced that the man does not only know what he is talking about; he is also a man who carries his heart in the right place.
Do his supplements work? We honestly do not know, because we haven’t tried any of them. But they are certainly not pharmaceuticals, and apparently there was at least one inspector who thought that the [products could do him or her some good (financially or health wise), because 17 bottles have disappeared.
Alternative healing is an option people are entitled to. It does not harm anyone, and if people feel better using herbal supplements, they take pressure off the expensive regular healthcare system. In many countries, healthcare insurers cover alternative healing methods.
Kailash says that he is looking forward to working together with the Ministry of Public Health, and he also wants to register his company here. Also, Kailash visited St. Maarten already at least seven times during the last year.
That begs the question: why come down on him now? And why at all?