The World Health Organization (WHO) here called for further promotion of traditional medicine and its integration into health care systems.
WHO issued a 'Beijing Declaration' at the end of its congress on traditional medicine on Saturday, which recognized traditional medicine as 'one of the resources of primary health care services to increase availability and affordability.'
It noted that 'people have the right and duty to participate individually and collectively in the planning and implementation of their health care, which may include access to traditional medicine.'
According to the declaration, 'traditional medicine' covers a wide variety of therapies and practices varying greatly from region to region. It might also be referred to as 'alternative or complementary medicine'.
It said governments should formulate regulations and standards to ensure appropriate, safe and effective use of traditional medicine.
'The knowledge of traditional medicine, treatments and practices should be respected, preserved, promoted and communicated widely and appropriately based on the circumstances in each country,' said the declaration.
Governments should establish systems for the qualification, accreditation or licensing of traditional medicine practitioners, it added.
Carissa Etienne, assistant director of WHO, told the opening ceremony of the China TCM Exhibition on Thursday that traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) had made important contributions to China's domestic health care system.