The WHO interregional workshop on the use of traditional medicine in primary health care was held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, from 23 to 26 August 2007. The workshop was co-organized by WHO and The Nippon Foundation, and hosted by the Government of Mongolia.
This meeting report records summary proceedings of the workshop and will share the countries' experiences which were presented during the workshop. Some communities, particularly in remote areas, benefit from using traditional medicines through self-care to meet primary health care needs, and some communities have developed different forms of implementation, e.g. using a "medikit" in Mongolia and "your medicine in your garden" booklets in south Asian countries. These experiences are significant in making health services accessible, available and affordable.
There is a great deal of potential for using traditional medicine in primary health care. However, Member States must be cautious about the quality, safety, and efficacy of traditional medicine therapies and products. This is of particular concern since traditional medicine is often used for self-care. Therefore, during the workshop, the issues of safety, efficacy and quality of traditional medicine were discussed.