News

    Bizarre Medical Myth Persists in Rural India

    Stray dogs rest at a park in Srinagar, March 2, 2012. Srinagar, India
    Stray dogs rest at a park in Srinagar, March 2, 2012. Srinagar, India

    In India's remote and poverty-stricken areas, health resources and qualified doctors can be scarce. Many people still rely on faith-based healers, who sometimes promote outlandish theories about how the body works.

    Shyamali Singh is a high school student in West Bengal's Midnapur district who holds a wild belief about dog bites.

    He said getting bitten by a dog leads to the birth of puppies. The victim gets puppies inside his body and becomes like a mad dog.

    So-called "puppy pregnancy syndrome" has a long history in the locality.

    Psychiatrist Kumar Kanti Ghosh helped document the phenomenon for an article in the medical journal Lancet in 2003. His interest started when a nine-year-old boy came to his clinic about 10 days after being bitten by a domesticated dog.

    "There was no issue of rabies," Ghosh said. "But he believed that he had developed a pregnancy with a puppy inside his abdomen. His parents said that sometimes he was barking like a dog and was crawling on his four feet.”

    Farmer Gopal Singh is one of Singh's patients who was bitten by a dog about seven years ago. He said he went running to the faith healer- who explained that puppies would be born inside his stomach and he would become like a mad dog and die."

    A June 19, 2011 photograph shows Mohammed Yousuf Roshangar, a Kashmiri Muslim faith healer, writing a taweez, a religious writing put inside amulets for protection and invoking blessing, in Srinagar, India
    A June 19, 2011 photograph shows Mohammed Yousuf Roshangar, a Kashmiri Muslim faith healer, writing a taweez, a religious writing put inside amulets for protection and invoking blessing, in Srinagar, India
    Medical doctor Sanjay Samui is frustrated by the tendency of villagers to cling to such beliefs.

    He said they are uneducated village people - they still hold on to such superstitions. He said he tells everyone it is impossible - in no situation can a puppy be born inside a human body.

    Doctors said it will probably take years to eradicate medical myths like puppy pregnancy syndrome among illiterate population. Because so many villagers distrust medical doctors, they say the media and local governments should help promote an accurate understanding of the body and what ails it.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: kreg
    March 29, 2012 1:35 AM
    With a Toxocariasis infection or infection with one of its nematode cousins (Well known dog bite diseases), gone burden, A healthy well nourished host can support about 70 mature before the balance falls out of hosts favor, takes aprox 23 yrs. Males out number females by 2x-30x. Females stationary. Males navigate the host completing tasks. You'll think you have a miniature litter of pups in you, And you kinda do, worm pups.

    by: Kreg
    March 28, 2012 5:29 AM
    Diagnose and treat symptoms ( caused by nutritional draw on host, movement, migration in host, multiple discharges through out host, to support the disease’s continues effort to reproduce ) of but will not treat disease directly.

    by: Kreg
    March 28, 2012 5:27 AM
    The symptoms that lead this rural India man to diagnose, internal puppy infection, mad dog disease, exist. The disease symptoms are easily pulled apart, separated, physical/mental health concern incidents and given a variety of names new and old. Most of recurring symptoms are no more than a slight draw on host and or closely resemble something else, cause of will be suggested due to some recent food host ingested or mild physical trauma received.

    by: Tora
    March 24, 2012 11:02 PM
    After the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, some experts, who are considered to stand on the side of the government and electric power companies, are trying to diffuse a myth that radiation is good for health.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.