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WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy: 2002-2005
(2002; 70 pages) [French] [Spanish] View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentAcronyms, abbreviations and WHO Regions
Open this folder and view contentsKey points: WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2002 - 2005
Open this folder and view contentsChapter One: Global review
Open this folder and view contentsChapter Two: Challenges
Open this folder and view contentsChapter Three: The current role of WHO
Open this folder and view contentsChapter Four: International and national resources for traditional medicine
Open this folder and view contentsChapter Five: Strategy and plan of action 2002 - 2005
View the documentAnnex One: List of WHO Collaborating Centres for Traditional Medicine
Open this folder and view contentsAnnex Two: Selected WHO publications and documents on traditional medicine
View the documentReferences
View the documentBack Cover

Back Cover

A traditional medicine strategy is relevant:

Traditional medicine continues to play an important role in health care. In many parts of the world, it is the preferred form of health care. Elsewhere, use of herbal medicines and so-called complementary and alternative therapies is increasing dramatically. There is no single determinant of popularity. But cultural acceptability of traditional practices, along with perceptions of affordability, safety and efficacy, and questioning of the approaches of allopathic medicine, all play a role. In view of this broad appeal, the general lack of research on the safety and efficacy of traditional medicines is therefore of great concern.

A traditional medicine strategy is urgently needed:

International, national and nongovernmental agencies continue to make great efforts to ensure that safe, effective and affordable treatments for a wide range of diseases are available where they are most needed. WHO estimates, however, that one-third of the world's population still lacks regular access to essential drugs, with the figure rising to over 50% in the poorest parts of Africa and Asia. Fortunately, in many developing countries, traditional medicine offers a major and accessible source of health care. Use of traditional medicine in primary health care, however, especially in the treatment of deadly diseases, is cause for concern. An evidence-base supporting its safe and efficacious use has yet to be developed.

A traditional medicine strategy has been developed:

In response to these challenges, WHO has developed a strategy for traditional medicine to enable this form of health care to better contribute to health security. It focuses on working with WHO Member States to define the role of traditional medicine in national health care strategies, supporting the development of clinical research into the safety and efficacy of traditional medicines, and advocating the rational use of traditional medicine.

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