April 19, 2024

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Cross-regional External Advisory Group established for the WHO Traditional Medicine Global Summit

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WHO has appointed 11 experts in traditional medicine, public health and policy to its External Advisory Group to provide strategic and technical advice to WHO Traditional Medicine Global Summit.

The Summit, to be held on 17 and 18 August in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India under the theme “Towards health and well-being for all”, will facilitate exchange of best practices and game-changing evidence, data and innovation, with the aim of mobilizing political commitment and evidence-based action on traditional medicine, aligned with science and nature.

“An evidence-informed integration of the principles of traditional medicine into our approaches to health will promote the interconnected well-being of individuals, communities, and our planet,” said Dr Susan Wieland, Director of the Cochrane Complementary Medicine Field and the co-chair of the External Advisory Group.

“Traditional knowledge systems can inspire fresh research and innovation to help us meet health-related Sustainable Development Goals. Adopting a ‘One World, One Health, One Well-being’ approach is essential, as it values integration and evidence-based methods for health and well-being for all,” said Professor Bhushan Patwardhan, National Research Professor-Ayush, Interdisciplinary School of Health Science, Savitribai Phule Pune University, India and the co-chair of the External Advisory Group.

In their initial review of the concept and planning for the Summit, the External Advisory Group has identified key emerging themes, including planetary health and well-being as an overarching focus; research and evidence; global data, regional trends and country best practice; innovation, including digital health and artificial intelligence; biodiversity and sustainability; indigenous knowledge, rights and resources; integration with universal health coverage, primary health care and health systems, including barriers and opportunities; legal and policy frameworks, including for regulation; equity including in trade, intellectual property and fair and equitable sharing of benefits; and political leadership and multistakeholder partnership for a transformative agenda towards planetary health and well-being for all.

The scope of the WHO Traditional Medicine Global Summit External Advisory Group covers:

  • advising on technical review criteria and thematic coherence across the Summit, based on strength of evidence and data, research methodologies, global relevance, potential impact, and other considerations;
  • advising on the development of scientific publications on issues addressed at the Summit; and
  • developing a report for WHO on key lessons and priority actions following the Summit.



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