Guidelines on Developing Consumer Information on Proper Use of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine
(2004; 109 pages) View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentForeword
View the documentPreface
View the documentGlossary
Close this folder1. General Considerations
View the document1.1 The benefits of TM/CAM
View the document1.2 The risks involved in the use of TM/CAM
View the document1.3 Proper use of TM/CAM by consumers
View the document1.4 Additional important aspects for the proper use of TM/CAM
Open this folder and view contents2. Development of Consumer Information
Open this folder and view contents3. General Principles and Activities for Ensuring Reliable TM/CAM Information
Open this folder and view contents4. Topics to Consider when Developing Consumer Information Promoting Proper Use of TM/CAM
View the document5. Use of this Publication
View the documentReferences
Open this folder and view contentsAnnexes
View the documentBack Cover

1. General Considerations

The use of traditional medicine (TM) and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing throughout the world. Already, it accounts for a major part of the health care provided worldwide. In low- and middle- income countries, up to 80% of the population may rely on TM for their primary health care needs (2). In many high-income countries CAM utilization is becoming increasingly popular, with up to 65% of the population reporting that they have used this form of medicine (2,4).

In response to the challenges posed by the widespread use of TM/CAM, WHO has developed the WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy: 2002-2005. The Strategy has four major objectives: (i) framing policy; (ii) ensuring safety, efficacy and quality; (iii) enhancing access; (iv) promoting proper use of TM/CAM. While these guidelines focus on the issue of proper use of TM/CAM, a number of WHO publications explore the other areas (see Annex V).

This document adopts the definitions of TM and CAM that have been established by WHO (see glossary).

to previous section
to next section
The WHO Essential Medicines and Health Products Information Portal was designed and is maintained by Human Info NGO. Last updated: December 6, 2017