The World Health Organization will include information on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in its influential global medical compendium.
According to Nature magazine, the global reach of the compendium is “unparalleled”.
“The document categorizes thousands of diseases and diagnoses and sets the medical agenda in more than 100 countries. It influences how physicians make diagnoses, how insurance companies determine coverage, how epidemiologists ground their research and how health officials interpret mortality statistics,” it said in its September 2018 edition.
Chapter 26 of the compendium will feature, for the first time, a classification system on traditional medicine.
WHO has been avidly supporting traditional medicines, especially TCM, as a step towards its long-term goal of universal health care. According to the agency, traditional treatments are less costly and more accessible than Western medicine in some countries.
However, many Western-trained physicians and biomedical scientists view TCM practices as unscientific, unsupported by clinical trials, and sometimes dangerous.
In response, WHO told Nature that its Traditional Medicine Strategy “provides guidance to Member States and other stakeholders for regulation and integration, of safe and quality assured traditional and complementary medicine products, practices, and practitioners”.
It stressed that the goal of the strategy “is to promote the safe and effective use of traditional medicine by regulating, researching and integrating traditional medicine products, practitioners and practice into health systems, where appropriate”.Letters to the EditorShare your thoughts on this article or anything else important to you as nurses and midwives by sending a Letter to the Editor.Four letters are published in the Lamp each month and the letter chosen as Letter of the Month will win a gift card. Please include a high-resolution photo along with your name, address, phone and membership number. You can submit your letter by emailing the Lamp:firstname.lastname@example.org
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