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Enhancing the role of traditional medicine in health systems: a strategy for the African Region
Regional Committee for Africa, 63 ( 2013 )
1. In line with Resolution AFR/RC50/R3, Member States took steps between 2001 and 2012 to promote traditional medicine (TM) by developing national policies and regulatory frameworks for TM practice, practitioners and products and by implementing some priority interventions. 2. By 2012, a total of 40 countries had national TM policies, 19 had national TM strategic plans and 28 national research institutes conducted research on traditional medicine products used for malaria, HIV/AIDS, sickle-cell disease, diabetes and hypertension. In addition, 13 countries issued marketing authorizations for traditional medicine products; seven countries included traditional medicine products into their National Essential Medicines Lists and nine countries adopted national frameworks for the protection of intellectual property rights (IPRs) and traditional medicine knowledge (TMK) related to practices and products. 3. Despite the progress made, countries continue to face challenges in implementing Resolution AFR/RC50/R3. These challenges include limited stewardship and governance, inadequate regulation and law enforcement; and insufficient human and financial resources for research and production of traditional medicine products. Weak partnerships between the private and public sectors and research communities have militated against large-scale production of traditional medicine products. 4. The updated strategy proposes key interventions to address the above challenges and builds on the successful promotion of the positive aspects of TM in national health systems. The focus is on strengthening of stewardship and governance; development and use of tools; cultivation of medicinal plants and conservation of biological diversity; research and development; local production; protection of IPRs and TMK; intersectoral coordination; and capacity building.