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WHO convenes first high-level global summit on traditional medicine

By Chukwuma Muanya
11 August 2023   |   3:43 am
Ahead of African Traditional Medicine Day (ATMD) on August 31, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is convening the Traditional Medicine Global Summit on August 17 and 18, 2023 in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) PHOTO: Christopher Black/WHO/Handout via REUTERS

• Explores evidence-based opportunities to boost health for all
Ahead of African Traditional Medicine Day (ATMD) on August 31, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is convening the Traditional Medicine Global Summit on August 17 and 18, 2023 in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India.

WHO, in a statement, yesterday, said, co-hosted by the government of India, the summit will explore the role of traditional, complementary, and integrative medicine in addressing pressing health challenges and driving progress in global health and sustainable development.

High-level participants will include WHO Director General and Regional Directors, G20 health ministers and high-level invitees from countries across WHO’s six regions. Scientists, practitioners of traditional medicine, health workers and members of civil society organisations will also take part.

The summit will explore ways to scale up scientific advances and realise the potential of evidence-based knowledge in the use of traditional medicine for people’s health and well being around the world.

Scientists and other experts will lead technical discussions on research, evidence and learning; policy, data and regulation; innovation and digital health; and biodiversity, equity and indigenous knowledge.

WHO Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said: “Traditional medicine can play an important and catalytic role in achieving the goal of universal health coverage and meeting global health-related targets that were off-track, even before disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Bringing traditional medicine into the mainstream of health care – appropriately, effectively, and above all, safely based on the latest scientific evidence – can help bridge access gaps for millions of people around the world. It would be an important step toward people-centered and holistic approaches to health and well-being.”

Heads of State and government at the 2019 UN high-level meeting on universal health coverage acknowledged the need to include evidence-based traditional and complementary medicine services particularly in primary health care, a cornerstone of health systems, in pursuit of health for all.

The summit will explore research and evaluation of traditional medicine, including methodologies that can be used to develop a global research agenda and priorities in traditional medicine, as well as challenges and opportunities based on 25 years of research in traditional medicine.

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