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    266643

    Organizational aspects.

    Mutalik GS

    In: Bannerman RH, Burton J, Ch'en Wen-Chieh. Traditional medicine and health care coverage: a reader for health administrators and practitioners. Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization, 1983. 281-9.

    It is now widely recognized that there is great potential in traditional medicine to contribute to primary health care, specially in developing countries. Such a potential is due not only to the wide acceptance of these systems at the community level but also to their simple, inexpensive, non-toxic, and time-tested remedies for the alleviation of disease and disability. In order to contribute usefully to primary health care, these systems must be functionally integrated into the country's health system. A thorough study should therefore be made of the prevailing traditional systems in their entirety--the type of system, the available manpower, the existing training programs, including any linkage to the official health services and the budgetary requirements. The identification of areas of health care to which these systems can contribute effectively and problems relating to their further development also require scrutiny. A list of recommendations given by WHO in 1979 for the development of traditional medicine are given. These include: manpower planning, the development of traditional medicine programs at the community level, and the identification of research priorities (drug research, the characteristics of traditional practitioners, integration programs, and cost effectiveness of traditional remedies and practices). An additional area of research suggested is the effectiveness of traditional remedies against chronic diseases for which there are no satisfactory treatments in modern medicine. WHO has been actively promoting traditional medicine as an integral part of primary health care through its technical cooperation programs with member states. In the last few years, a useful program to encourage visits of teams from different countries to China has been carried out in collaboration with the United Nations development program. The emphasis of WHO's programs are on coordinated and integated efforts to foster traditional systems and to maximize their usefulness towards the attainment of health for all.
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