(2010; 181 pages)
Traditional systems of medicines, including herbal medicines, have been used for many centuries for health care by people in countries of the South-East Asia Region as well as in other parts of the world.
Since the concept of “Health for All” through primary health care (PHC) was launched at the International Conference on Primary Health Care at Alma-Ata in 1978, there has been a global movement to realize universal health-care coverage. However, in spite of advances made in the health sector, equitable health care coverage; availability, accessibility and affordability to conventional health care and services are quite often beyond the reach of people who are indigent, marginalized and underserved. Moreover, the present upsurge in the use of traditional medicines or complementary and alternative medicine – generated after the Alma-Ata International Conference – has become a global phenomenon. This development portends well for a more comprehensive health care delivery and health sector reform in facing new challenges in PHC due to demographic, economic, environmental, and social changes that have a negative impact on health development.
It is envisaged that this publication will be instrumental in revitalizing primary health care in empowering community participation in self-care, in promoting the application of appropriate technology that is socially and culturally acceptable to the people, in making the health system more people-centered, and in improving equitable access to national health systems.