WHO taps traditional medicine

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday stressed the need to tap the potential of traditional medicine as part of national health systems among countries in the Western Pacific Region. Indigenous healing practices, though abundant in the region, faced poor regulatory standards and questions about their efficacy, the WHO noted as it concluded its annual regional meeting in Manila on Friday. Consisting of 37 countries—including China, Japan and the Philippines—the region has a rich history of traditional medicine ranging from herbal treatment, hilot (massage) therapies to acupuncture. Millions of people consult with traditional healers and use alternative medicines, according to the WHO. But “lack of coordination between traditional medicine and the Western health system” still continued, it added. The insufficiency of financial and human resources, if traditional medicine were to effectively contribute in improving health in the region, was among the challenges needed to be addressed, it pointed out.

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