The WHO Traditional Medicines Strategy 2002 - 2005 reviews the status of TM/CAM globally, and outlines WHO's own role and activities in TM/CAM. But more importantly it provides a framework for action for WHO and its partners, aimed at enabling TM/CAM to play a far greater role in reducing excess mortality and morbidity, especially among impoverished populations. The strategy incorporates four objectives:
1. Policy - Integrate TM/CAM with national health care systems, as appropriate, by developing and implementing national TM/CAM policies and programmes.
2. Safety, efficacy and quality - Promote the safety, efficacy and quality of TM/CAM by expanding the knowledge-base on TM/CAM, and by providing guidance on regulatory and quality assurance standards.
3. Access - Increase the availability and affordability of TM/CAM, as appropriate, with an emphasis on access for poor populations.
4. Rational use - Promote therapeutically sound use of appropriate TM/CAM by providers and consumers.
Implementation of the strategy will initially focus on the first two objectives. Achieving the safety, efficacy and quality objective will provide the necessary foundation for achieving the access and rational use objectives.