Kerala Crime Branch police have arrested Jacob Vadakkanchery, a ‘naturopathist’, for spreading canards about allopathic medicines used to cure rat fever and for asking people to refrain from using such medication. Jacob was arrested on the basis of a complaint by Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja to the Kerala Director General of Police.
"Based on a case registered against him, the Crime Branch arrested Jacob from a nature treatment centre in Chambakkara around 12 pm on Wednesday," Crime Branch Circle Inspector Shiju told TNM. The news of the arrest was however given out only on Saturday.
In many videos and talks, Jacob Vadakkanchery had criticised the use of the antibiotic called doxycycline, that is being widely used by the Kerala government to treat rat fever. He had claimed that this was a sinister plan by the government to sell more number of vaccines and that people were getting duped. In these videos and speeches, Jacob Vadakkanchery asked people not to opt for doxycycline even if they had fever, and instead to choose naturopathic treatments.
Kerala is facing an outbreak of rat fever after flood waters receded. The state had issued health alerts in many districts and the government has been asking people to take preventive medication and also to visit a hospital if there are any signs of fever. From August 1, the state has witnessed 50 deaths due to rat fever and the condition has been confirmed in as many as 1228 people.
Jacob Vadakkanchery, has been a critic of all kinds of vaccination and has also been in trouble for misdiagnosing people. In January, a hospital he owns called the Nature Life Hospital at Ernakulam was asked to pay a fine of Rs 4 lakh by the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum in Kozhikode. The amount was to be paid to the family of a lawyer named Vinayanandan,who had died while being treated for diabetes at Nature Life Hospital at Ernakulam. Vinayanandan’s family admitted him to Nature Life Hospital in Ernakulam on November 7, 2005 and he had died a few days later, as the hospital had failed to detect that he had a cardiac arrest.
Even when the state was going through a Nipah virus outbreak, he had made similar disparaging remarks on the vaccines that the government was using. At that time too, the Kerala government had recommended action against him.