Update on the latest WHO/TCIH meeting

The recent Civil Society Organisation (CSO) meeting between the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Traditional Complementary and Integrative Healthcare (TCIH) coalition (for which the World Naturopathic Foundation is a founding member, and the NHAA a signatory) had over 720 attendees and went extremely well.

The meeting, moderated by Dr Iva Lloyd (CEO of the World Naturopathic Federation) and Dr Tido von Schoen-Angerer (Anthroposophical medicine specialist and member of the Swiss Medical Association), featured five fantastic speeches on the consumer’s right to choice in healthcare, planetary health, TCIH as a valuable but insufficiently tapped resource in healthcare, TCIH research and, presented by Australia’s own Professor Jon Wardle and Dr Alana Gall, TCIH education and Indigenous voices and traditional medicine.

The meeting allowed the opportunity for TCIH to formally ask the WHO to consider:

  1. Adopting the term ‘Traditional Complementary and Integrative Health’ (TCIH), thus recognizing the diversity of professions and practices that go beyond whole systems of medicine and medical practices;
  2. Recognising the essential contribution of TCIH to global health and well-being by:
    • providing individuals the right to choose the healthcare they desire;
    • maximising the use of TCIH approaches for healthy societies, planetary health and disease management; andsupporting a significant increase in research activity, commensurate with TCIH use; and
    • requesting that countries protect Indigenous and Traditional knowledge with adequate legislation.
  3. Accelerating the integration of TCIH into healthcare systems and services by supporting countries to:
    • include TCIH in national health policies for the achievement of UHC;
    • provide recognition and regulation of TCIH products, practices and practitioners to ensure quality, safety, effectiveness and access; and
    • support and respectfully integrate Indigenous practices by holding a forum to listen to indigenous voices.

These are fantastic outcomes from a clear, positive and dynamic conversation on important issues. We believe the WHO is truly making space for, and hearing the voice TCIH, and we’re sure there are plenty of positive updates to come.