In an era where holistic approaches to health are gaining traction, a recent dialogue between the Traditional, Complementary, and Integrative Health (TCIH) Coalition and the World Health Organization (WHO) marked a significant milestone. This dialogue, held on July 3, 2023, brought together over 300 civil society organizations under the TCIH Coalition and attracted over 600 virtual attendees, highlighting the growing interest in TCIH.
The TCIH Coalition, a diverse group of professionals from various TCIH professions, emphasized the importance of consumer choice in healthcare, the role of TCIH in planetary health, and the potential of TCIH as a valuable, yet underutilized, resource in healthcare. They also highlighted the need for more research and education in TCIH, as well as the protection of Indigenous Healthcare practices.
The Coalition called on WHO to adopt the term TCIH, recognizing the diversity of professions and practices that extend beyond traditional medicine. They also urged WHO to acknowledge the essential contribution of TCIH to global health and well-being, and to accelerate its integration into health systems and services.
Dr. Tedros, the Director-General of WHO, acknowledged the initiative of the TCIH Coalition and emphasized the role of civil society as advocates and service providers of TCIH care. He also expressed a shared vision for future collaborations, including the upcoming Traditional Medicine Global Summit in India.
This dialogue was a significant achievement for the TCIH Coalition, underscoring their commitment to promoting TCIH as an integral part of healthcare systems. However, as we move forward, there are several areas where improvements could be made:
Increased Collaboration: More frequent and structured collaborations between the TCIH Coalition, WHO, and other health organizations could help to further advance the cause.
Public Awareness Campaigns: The TCIH Coalition and WHO could work together to create public awareness campaigns to educate people about the benefits and uses of TCIH.
Policy Advocacy: The TCIH Coalition could increase its efforts in advocating for policy changes at the government level to recognize and integrate TCIH into mainstream healthcare systems.
Research and Data Collection: There is a need for more comprehensive and high-quality research in the field of TCIH.
Training and Education: More resources could be invested in training and education for practitioners to ensure the safe and effective practice of TCIH.
Indigenous Inclusion: There could be more active inclusion of Indigenous voices and perspectives in these discussions and in the development of TCIH policies and practices.
By focusing on these areas, the TCIH Coalition and WHO can continue to advance the recognition and integration of TCIH into global health systems, shaping the future of global health.
About the TCIH Coalition: The TCIH Coalition is a global network of civil society organizations dedicated to promoting TCIH as an integral part of healthcare systems. The Coalition advocates for patient-centered care, research, training, regulation, and the recognition of TCIH.
Photo by Nik