Controversial Kerala naturopath Mohanan Vaidyar’s treatment centre shut down amid row

Krishnapuram grama panchayat shut the centre in Alappuzha on Friday after it was found that Mohanan Vaidyar was practising naturopathy without trained doctors.
Controversial Kerala naturopath Mohanan Vaidyar’s treatment centre shut down amid row
Controversial Kerala naturopath Mohanan Vaidyar’s treatment centre shut down amid row
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The treatment centre of the controversial naturopath Mohanan Vaidyar, who was recently booked by the police after an 18-month-old baby died following his treatment, has been closed down. The officials of the Krishnapuram grama panchayat shut the centre in Alappuzha on Friday for practising naturopathy without trained doctors.

The panchayat officials said the centre was closed not because of the case against Mohanan Vaidyar, a self-trained naturopath; but based on a probe initiated by the panchayat in 2018. Mohanan’s treatment centre was functioning at Njakkanal in Krishnapuram gram panchayat limits in Alappuzha since 2018.

“The panchayat had given permission to set up the centre based on the license of registered Ayurvedha doctors. But later, we received multiple complaints that Mohanan Vaidyar was treating the patients and not registered doctors. Based on the complaints, the District Medical Officer conducted an inquiry,” DS Athila, secretary of panchayat told TNM.

According to the report given by DMO to the panchayat, it was found that Mohanan, who is not a trained doctor, was treating the patients on his own, without any assistance. “The inquiry team, however, could not find out the authenticity of the medicines that were being used. So we submitted a report, requesting the chief secretary to conduct a detailed inquiry,” the secretary said.

Panchayat officials also said that though multiple show-cause notices were issued to Mohanan, there were no replies to it.

This comes days after the police booked a case against in the death of the 18-month-old child. According to reports, the child died on August 23 at the Government Medical College Thrissur after being diagnosed with propionic acidemia (a rare metabolic disorder). The doctor, who treated the child, put a post on Facebook, stating the treatment was given by Mohanan Vaidyar. 

On August 28, the Mararikulam police in Alappuzha registered a case against Mohanan based on a complaint filed by Sreejith Perumana in Wayanad. Health Minister KK Shailaja also wrote to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to conduct a probe into the incident.

'Stern action against such quacks'

Dr Jinesh PS, member of Info Clinic, a Facebook page to counter myth, superstitions and false information regarding health and medicine, told TNM that there were complaints about Mohanan Vaidyar earlier also but no action was taken.

“Mohanan Vaidyar is not a qualified medical practitioner; he can’t even claim that he is a traditional healer. As per my understanding, he neither has any qualification related to health nor any registration under any system of medicine. Health Minister had put a post on Facebook on May 25, 2018, that action should be taken against him as he is not a registered medical practitioner. A letter was also given to DGP at the time for further action; but no action was taken against him then,” said Dr Jinesh.

He also added that it was some television channel programmes that made Mohanan popular among people.

Dr Jinesh also stated that quacks like Mohanan were taking advantage of the lack of health literacy of the people of Kerala. “Post the floods in 2018, Jacob Vadakkunchery had put posts on taking medicines for leptospirosis. After he was arrested, we did not see any propaganda from Vadakkumcherry this time. Stern action should be taken against quacks,” he said.

Incidentally, during the Nipah outbreak in 2018, there were videos of Mohanan Vaidyar and Jacob Vadakkunchery giving misleading information on Nipah virus. The state government gave directions to Facebook and YouTube to take down the videos. 

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