Spreading Homeopathy Through A College
Prof Dr NIk Omar Nik Daud is a practitioner of Alternative Medicine and he heads what is, perhaps, the biggest and only
homeopathy college in malaysia. Report by Nik Fairuz.
Prof Dr Nik Omar Nik Daud went to pakistan to be a medical student but ended up as an expert in alternative medicane
instead. Today, he heads what is, perhaps, the biggest and only homeopathy college in malaysia.
It was 70s then when, like many other local lads, he headed to that part of asia to pursue a dream of becoming a doctor.
A friend, who was also studying medicine there, introduced him to homeopathy a way of treating diseases in which patients
are given very small amounts of natural substances. The same prescription, if given to healthy people, would produce the same
effects that the diseases produce.
"He gave me a book on the philosophy of homeopathy and after reading it, i was convinced i should do it ," says
Nik Omar. 48, who founded the Faculty of Homeopathy Malaysia in 1979.
He took a risk in giving up pursuit of a conventional medical degree, and, instead, going into homeopathy. The then 20-year-old
iad knew little about alternative medicine. He was also the first person in his family of entrepreneurs to venture into the
After he graduated from the Pakistan Homeopathic Medical College &Hospital in 1975, Nik Omar spent two more years
studying in london before returning to his hometown, Kota Bharu, in Kelantan.
He recalls,"My professor in pakistan told me before i left for England: 'if you want to spread homeopathy in Malaysia,
you must have a College',".
Nik Omar did just that when returned. The college in Kota Bharu started out with seven students and one department
of homeopathy in 1979 . It now has more than 1,000 students and since its affiliation with the Open International University,
Sri Lanka, the college has expended its scope of complementary medicine and set up new department in Malay, Islamic, Indian,
Chinese and Japanese medicine.
The development did not come as a surprise at all."Most Malaysians are very health-conscious. they believe in alternative
medicine first rather than western medicine" Nik Omar says.
"Our cultures have for generations been practising alternative medicine. for example , with acupuncture and herbs, because
they were available averywhere and cheap," he says.
Yet, even with the advent of modern medicine, or allopathy, alternative approaches like homeopathy have continued to
thrive in society.
The older generation preferred alternative to western medicine because the people were alfraid of surgeries and
injections. The modern generation however is alfraid of drugs and prefers natural theraphy if possible,"Nik Omar observes.
Unlike traditional herbalist and sinsehs who use the crude forms of plants in their theraphy. homeopathy which originated
in Germeny ijn the 19th century refines the extracts of plants into conventional looking pills and capsules he explans.
Currently, most of the medicines prescribed at his clinics in Kota Bharu, and Kuala Lumpur are imported.
"But we are gradually using more and more local plants. We are also planning to built a pharmaceutical plants to
produce local homeopathic products" Nik Omar says.
In his 20-odd years in practice, he has come across his fair share of patients with severe stages of ilness who turn
to alternative medicine as a last result.
"There are two types of patients. Firstly health-conscious people who come to me at the early stage of their diseases,
which easier to treat.
"Then there's what i call the 'hopeless case' patients. They have gone to the hospital and the doctor have
tol them there is nothing else he could do to cure the disease. Like Heaptitis B, paralysis, hypertension and
severe stage of diabetes. These people come to homeopathy as their last hope.
"It's usually very difficult to treat such a patients. We can't promise them anything but we try to do what we can,"
"Homeopathy is here to complement allopathy, or modern medicine," Nik Omar clarifies, adding that it should not be expected
to produce miracles when modern medicine fails.
The homeopath is especially proud of the college's progress in researching treatment for infertility and migraine.
"We have had much success in using a concoction of floral extracts to treat infertility," he says.
As for migraine, he prescribe the "homeopuncture", a combination of oral herbal medicine and external acupuncture.
"About 95 % of patients who follow the full course of treatment have been successfully treated," he claims. While he
is all out to tout the effectiveness of homeopathy in treating various diseases, he admits he is concerned about the abuse
of these alternative medicine by unscrupulous opportunists.