WHO / TRADITIONAL MEDICINES

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11-Aug-2023 00:05:13
Ahead of the Traditional Medicine Global Summit later this month in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India, World Health Organization (WHO) officials discussed the importance of safety, efficacy and quality control of traditional products and procedure-based therapies. WHO

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STORY: WHO / TRADITIONAL MEDICINES
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SOURCE: WHO
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 10, 11 AUGUST 2023, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

11 AUGUST 2023, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Aerial shot, exterior WHO Headquarters

10 AUGUST 2023, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Kim Sungchol, Head, Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Medicine Unit, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Traditional medicine is that sum total of the knowledge and practice and skills, that is being used by the people for the maintenance of the health, as well as diagnosing, preventing and managing and treating physical and mental illness. Those traditional medicine actually build on this certain theory and belief as well as the experience that is the indigenous to different cultures. So, I think the traditional medicine, as you know, that in the different regions and countries and territories having different systems of traditional medicine, it's very diverse.”
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Kim Sungchol, Head, Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Medicine Unit, World Health Organization (WHO):
“According to the 2019 report, actually 170-member countries, they acknowledge using some form of traditional medicine and also around 100 member states actually have the national policy on traditional medicine. And also, they have a national program. They also have a national office for traditional medicine. India has a ministry. So, it means that almost half of the member states in WHO they recognized certain form of traditional medicine, they also use it for the healthcare purposes.”
4. Close up, hands
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Kim Sungchol, Head, Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Medicine Unit, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Traditional medicine also has an advantage because they have such a holistic concept and approach to the health. That's why traditional medicine can actually much to offer in health promotion, disease prevention, as well as managing lifestyle related non-communicable diseases.”
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Kim Sungchol, Head, Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Medicine Unit, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Many systems of traditional medicine having such a holistic approach, they look at the person as a whole and not only look at the physical condition, but also mental, psychological and social wellbeing as well. And also, we believe that our health is connected with the environment. That's why I think it's more towards the one health one planet concept.”
7. Wide shot, Dr Shyama Kuruvilla and interviewer walking
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Shyama Kuruvilla, Lead, Global Traditional Medicine Centre and Summit, World Health Organization (WHO):
“This paradigm shift that's needed or that's come about in health care has three elements. One, it's about people. Two, it's about connecting within ourselves with our societies and our environments. And three, it's about what we trust, what information we trust, so that we can make those decisions. And is it science? Is it tradition? And we are saying it's actually a wonderful moment to bring those together.”
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Shyama Kuruvilla, Lead, Global Traditional Medicine Centre and Summit, World Health Organization (WHO):
“We all realized during the pandemic how much we are responsible, and we need to have literacy about what's needed for our health and well-being for that of our family and our societies, and also in harmony with our environment.”
10. Close up, hands
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Shyama Kuruvilla, Lead, Global Traditional Medicine Centre and Summit, World Health Organization (WHO):
“But science is our most reliable compass towards health and wellbeing. Joining that with this basis of traditional medicine and taking the strengths of both is really a historic game changing pathway towards planetary health and wellbeing.”
12. Med shot, Dr Shyama Kuruvilla and Dr John Reeder walking
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr John Reeder, Director, Department of Research for Health and Director, Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, World Health Organization (WHO):
“The scientific basis of the traditional medicine is quite mixed. On one side we have quite scientifically proven interventions, things like artemisinin that have been taken from a traditional medicine, a traditional brew, made into a tablet tested and is one of our main streams of treatment against malaria. And we know all about its mechanism. We know all about its safety and efficacy. On the other side, though, we have many traditional interventions which are very empirical. They've been observed over many, many years and people think they work.”
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr John Reeder, Director, Department of Research for Health and Director, Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, World Health Organization (WHO):
“But I think the important thing is to move from the empirical basis of the traditional medicine to proof of efficacy and safety in terms of turning it into a credible intervention and a credible treatment that we can put forward. And this means standardizing and looking at how we can do trials and how we can really create the evidence to put it alongside any other intervention, whether that's pharmaceutical or maybe physically based interventions.”
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr John Reeder, Director, Department of Research for Health and Director, Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, World Health Organization (WHO):
Is it safe? Will it work? These are the two key questions in any treatment that people need to probe. And everything is a risk and a benefit. You know, what we need to know is what are the benefits of the traditional approach? What are the risks of that approach? How does that relate to other potential interventions that could be given. So very important that we have good information available if we're going to integrate traditional medicine into mainstream health practice.”

11 AUGUST 2023, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

16. Aerial shot, exterior WHO Headquarters

STORYLINE:

Ahead of the Traditional Medicine Global Summit later this month in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India, World Health Organization (WHO) officials discussed the importance of safety, efficacy and quality control of traditional products and procedure-based therapies.

Co-hosted by the Government of India, on 17 and 18 August 2023 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.

SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Kim Sungchol, Head, Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Medicine Unit, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Traditional medicine is that sum total of the knowledge and practice and skills, that is being used by the people for the maintenance of the health, as well as diagnosing, preventing and managing and treating physical and mental illness. Those traditional medicine actually build on this certain theory and belief as well as the experience that is the indigenous to different cultures. So, I think the traditional medicine, as you know, that in the different regions and countries and territories having different systems of traditional medicine, it's very diverse.”

SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Kim Sungchol, Head, Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Medicine Unit, World Health Organization (WHO):
“According to the 2019 report, actually 170-member countries, they acknowledge using some form of traditional medicine and also around 100 member states actually have the national policy on traditional medicine. And also, they have a national program. They also have a national office for traditional medicine. India has a ministry. So, it means that almost half of the member states in WHO they recognized certain form of traditional medicine, they also use it for the healthcare purposes.”

High-level participants will include the 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 the civil society organizations will also take part.

SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Kim Sungchol, Head, Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Medicine Unit, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Traditional medicine also has an advantage because they have such a holistic concept and approach to the health. That's why traditional medicine can actually much to offer in health promotion, disease prevention, as well as managing lifestyle related non-communicable diseases.”

SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Kim Sungchol, Head, Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Medicine Unit, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Many systems of traditional medicine having such a holistic approach, they look at the person as a whole and not only look at the physical condition, but also mental, psychological and social wellbeing as well. And also, we believe that our health is connected with the environment. That's why I think it's more towards the one health one planet concept.”

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

SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Shyama Kuruvilla, Lead, Global Traditional Medicine Centre and Summit, World Health Organization (WHO):
“This paradigm shift that's needed or that's come about in health care has three elements. One, it's about people. Two, it's about connecting within ourselves with our societies and our environments. And three, it's about what we trust, what information we trust, so that we can make those decisions. And is it science? Is it tradition? And we are saying it's actually a wonderful moment to bring those together.”

SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Shyama Kuruvilla, Lead, Global Traditional Medicine Centre and Summit, World Health Organization (WHO):
“We all realized during the pandemic how much we are responsible, and we need to have literacy about what's needed for our health and well-being for that of our family and our societies, and also in harmony with our environment.”

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.

SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Shyama Kuruvilla, Lead, Global Traditional Medicine Centre and Summit, World Health Organization (WHO):
“But science is our most reliable compass towards health and wellbeing. Joining that with this basis of traditional medicine and taking the strengths of both is really a historic game changing pathway towards planetary health and wellbeing.”

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.

SOUNDBITE (English) Dr John Reeder, Director, Department of Research for Health and Director, Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, World Health Organization (WHO):
“The scientific basis of the traditional medicine is quite mixed. On one side we have quite scientifically proven interventions, things like artemisinin that have been taken from a traditional medicine, a traditional brew, made into a tablet tested and is one of our main streams of treatment against malaria. And we know all about its mechanism. We know all about its safety and efficacy. On the other side, though, we have many traditional interventions which are very empirical. They've been observed over many, many years and people think they work.”

SOUNDBITE (English) Dr John Reeder, Director, Department of Research for Health and Director, Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, World Health Organization (WHO):
“But I think the important thing is to move from the empirical basis of the traditional medicine to proof of efficacy and safety in terms of turning it into a credible intervention and a credible treatment that we can put forward. And this means standardizing and looking at how we can do trials and how we can really create the evidence to put it alongside any other intervention, whether that's pharmaceutical or maybe physically based interventions.”

SOUNDBITE (English) Dr John Reeder, Director, Department of Research for Health and Director, Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, World Health Organization (WHO):
Is it safe? Will it work? These are the two key questions in any treatment that people need to probe. And everything is a risk and a benefit. You know, what we need to know is what are the benefits of the traditional approach? What are the risks of that approach? How does that relate to other potential interventions that could be given. So very important that we have good information available if we're going to integrate traditional medicine into mainstream health practice.”

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. Findings from the systematic reviews of traditional medicine and health, evidence maps of clinical effectiveness, and an artificial intelligence global research map on traditional medicine will be presented.

At the Summit, WHO will present emerging findings from the third global survey on traditional medicine, which, for the first time, includes questions on financing of traditional and complementary medicine, health of Indigenous Peoples, quality assurance, traditional medicine knowledge, biodiversity, trade, integration, patient safety, and more. The complete survey, which will be released later in the year, first on an interactive online dashboard and then as a report, will inform the development of WHO’s updated traditional medicine strategy 2025-2034 as requested by the World Health Assembly in May 2023.
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