World Health Assembly decides to develop new WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy, including stakeholder involvement in the process

30 May 2023

The World Health Assembly met for their 76th session in Geneva from May 21 to 30 and adopted a decision for WHO’s current Traditional Medicine Strategy to be extended until 2025 and for WHO to develop a new 2025-2034 global strategy in the meantime. The decision also rules that stakeholders should be included in the drafting process along national governments of WHO member states. Member states unanimously supported this decision, highlighting the need for continuous action in the field of Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Healthcare to achieve Universal Health Coverage.

The People’s Declaration for Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Healthcare (TCIH Declaration), representing a global coalition of over 300 professional and patient organisations, research and research institutes, applauds this decision. We advocate for the meaningful inclusion of diverse stakeholders in the drafting process, including civil society, NGOs, healthcare providers, researchers, and practitioners, to ensure a comprehensive and inclusive approach. TCIH plays a significant role in the healthcare landscape, providing accessible, culturally sensitive, and patient-centred healthcare solutions. We believe that the integration of TCIH into primary healthcare and mainstream healthcare systems can lead to improved health outcomes and holistic well-being for individuals and communities worldwide.

“Including diverse stakeholders in the development of the new Traditional Medicine Strategy is a crucial step towards fostering collaboration, innovation, and inclusivity in healthcare,” commented Tido von Schoen-Angerer, Board member of the International Federation of Anthroposophic Medical Associations, one of the co-sponsors of the TCIH Declaration. “We welcome the opportunity to contribute our expertise and collaborate with other stakeholders to ensure the strategy reflects the diverse perspectives and needs of the global community.”

Leveraging the  experiences of civil society related to TCIH, will help tailor the new strategy to address specific country contexts and effectively support local healthcare needs. Such an approach will promote healthcare equity, and strengthen healthcare systems worldwide, contributing to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Sustainable Development Goals.

“The development of a new strategy provides an opportunity to develop “a positive vision of health that integrates physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being” – stated KEI, co-signatory of the TCIH Declaration at the WHA, concluding that “synergies with other WHO strategies, traditional, complementary and integrative medicine can meaningfully enhance health promotion, prevention and disease management in key areas.”

The TCIH Coalition is committed and looks forward to actively participating with its expertise in the drafting process of the new Traditional Medicine Strategy and will advocate for evidence-based approaches, quality standards, and regulatory frameworks that uphold patient safety and promote the integration of TCIH within national healthcare systems.

About the TCIH Coalition

The TCIH Coalition is a international coalition dedicated to advocating for the benefits and integration of Traditional, Complementary, and Integrative Healthcare (TCIH) approaches in global healthcare systems. We strive to foster collaboration among stakeholders and advocate for equitable access to diverse healthcare options.