Representatives of World Organizations on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)

Representatives of World Organizations on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)


– I am working as a technical officer in WHO headquarters,
in the Traditional medicine and Integrative medicine unit. We have a very strong policy of advocating
traditional medicine to member nations. In fact, WHO believes that traditional medicine
is an integrated part of the health systems. And to improve the health of the society, traditional
medicines could also be used by different member states.
In this direction, WHO has an international strategy. It is a strategy from 2014 to 2023, we are in the phase of that – what
we are actually doing – maybe to point the way of understanding where
we have reached in that strategy. There has been a good progress. The head of the department of the unit is Dr. Zhang Qi and
he has been there for more than 10 years and he has been
continuously working in this direction and we are all helping him. WHO, as a personal opinion what I understood is that WHO is strongly
recommending that the member nations should look at the Traditional
medicine strategy and try to bring in as a national policy in their country. And we hope to help the member nations, or what would
be the member nations, to adopt that policy into their country. – My name is Madan Thangavelu and I am a DNA
biologist based in Cambridge. I’ve worked with
DNA and DNA research for the last 36 years. I have a wide background. I’ve studied agriculture,
I’ve studied genetics, I’ve studied DNA and DNA
genomics and also worked in cancer genomics. Finally I am also an advisor to the All-Party
Parliamentary Group in the UK – All-Party
Parliamentary Group on Indian Traditional Sciences. Over the last 15 years I’ve worked with alternative
systems of medicine, traditional systems of medicine.
And there is a reason for this. Modern medicine is based on principals that
has been extremely helpful, extremely powerful
for many aspects of human health, but there are increasing number of areas where modern
medicine fails, and these are the increasing conditions that
we see in almost all the developing countries of the world. Particularly, chronic diseases, like metabolic diseases,
dementia, age dependent neurodegenerative
diseases and these are all diseases, these all conditions, where modern medicine
is failing to provide complete answers. We need another way to look at
the problem and we need another
way to answer these problems. And I am feeling this is a big area
where CAM can play a big role. Early this year we had
the Commonwealth leaders’ summit, the 53 nations of the Commonwealth
leaders got together in London
and Prime Minister Modi and Prince Charles came together and
they unveiled new Centre of excellence
for research in Indian systems of medicine. So this is a major development here
in Europe and I think in the next
few years we will get to see much of the research foundations for these
ancient systems of medicine come out of these
activities. So this is in brief this status in the UK. Traditional medicine strategy that will run up
to 2023 and I hope that there are discussions
now underway to refine this for post-2023. I am very optimistic. That if governments of the nations,
particularly the health ministries of the nations come
together, sit around the table and express their needs, then we can come to very very
cost-effective solutions to many
of the health problems that we have. – My name is Uwe Peters and I am a biologist.
I am working in the field of CAM medicine
for 25 years and especially in the field of microbiology therapy, it’s therapy-based
probiotics, the microbiome now, and this is one
of the younger part of complementary medicine. I am a member of the board of practitioners’ association
for this therapy and I am a member of the board of the
Association of Natural Medicine in Europe (ANME). – Fantastic. So how would you describe
the situation of Complementary Alternative
Medicine in your country? – Looking to Germany, so we have
a very comfortable situation, compared
with some other states in Europe. But in the compare to other states like India now,
to Turkey and China, they have much more impulse,
much more impact to complementary medicine. We are loosing at this time some of our pharmaceutical
products, we are discussing traditional medicine
in a way that there is a lack of evidence, but in my opinion, we have no lack of evidence
because we have the evidence of the people
they use it over generations. And that is a very very strength
evidence of this therapy in my opinion. – How do you see the future integration of CAM
into national healthcare system, like maybe a wider
one in case of Germany, as WHO recommends? – As we see in Germany, so it is integrated.
We have to stay united in all this different
kinds of complementary medicine. We have to find a unique speech
to the patient to make clear what
is our idea of individual medicine, of salutogenesis and of all these parts.
So we have to communicate better, than we’ll
stay with better wind from the back I would say. – To conclude with, what is legal
situation in the country, like any legal action? – We have the legal actions. We have 3 parts
of this complementary medicine. They talk about
phytotherapy, antrophosophic medicine and homeopathy. So it is a little bit easier to get product at
the market, and it is legal to have it in the
pharmacy, it is legal to practise in Germany. And we have these health professionals
in Germany. It is a little bit special situation. So we are really comfortable
but it might be better and we have
to be careful that it is not going down. And for me it is a pleasure to talk to you because
it is good if we have other member states of the
EU coming up growing complementary medicine. So it is good for us to say to our
politicians: “Look, everywhere they
are wanted, and they are growing up, they won’t decrease
it in your own country.“ – But I think we have a lot to learn
from your side. Thank you very much
on behalf of Mr Tomas Pfeiffer and the professional chamber Sanator,
member of EU Health Policy Platform,
we would like to thank you wholeheartedly. – Thank you for questions.
Thank you. – CAM can help the anti-cancer treatment,
reducing adverse effect of a cancer therapy, and they can help – be helpful for cancer
patients so there is something with evidence. – Would you kindly share your personal
clinical experience regarding CAM? – I am the director of a small clinic in
the hospital of Lucca which is a town in Italy,
Tuscany, between Florence and Pisa. At the hospital Lucca we started the practice 20 years
ago in 1998. We had a database of around 6 – 7,000
of consecutive patients seen in this time. And this kind of work is made
by me and other colleagues. We have a homeopathic clinic which
is articulated in one homeopathic clinic,
the other homeopathic clinic for women and the third one is complementary
medicine in integrative oncology to help the oncological, cancer patients to ameliorate
their quality of life and to get used to the
adverse effect of the anti-cancer therapy. For the homeopathic clinic we are putting
in respiratory disease, dermatological disease, gastrointestinal disease and
psychological disease, with good results. Hello, I am Ton Nicolai, I am a medical
doctor, and I am a spokesperson
and coordinator for EUROCAM. EUROCAM is an European organization that
represents the whole sector of complementary
and alternative medicine or CAM in Europe and it unites umbrella organizations of
medical doctors, patients, veterinary
surgeons and other health practitioners like therapists who use complementary
and alternative medicine – CAM. And our aim is to – we have different aims – one of our aims is to
make the authorities of the European Union aware of the added
value of CAM – of complementary and alternative medicine, especially when dealing with current health,
public health issues like antimicrobial resistance, chronic diseases, soaring healthcare
costs, healthy ageing, well, these
kinds of health policies. And another aim is that we
are seeking, we try to achieve
the situation where CAM is available, accessible and affordable for
any European citizens who
would like to make use of it. So we are organizing meetings in the European parliament.
For instance with the help of supportive members
of the European parliament, we have meetings with representatives of the European Commission,
e.g. at the directorate general health, at the
directorate general research, agriculture etc. And we respond from time to
time to consultations by European
Commission on several health issues. You may know that European Commission
would like to have the opinion of
stakeholders on chronic diseases, an microbial resistence, whatever
important issues – pharmaceuticals
in the environment, etc. And so we always respond to
make sure that the added value of
complementary and alternative medicine is heard that people at the
level of European Union know about it. There was a resolution by the World Health
Assembly which is the decision-making
body of the WHO The several resolutions that urge the countries all over the world
to integrate Complementary and traditional
medicine into the healthcare systems. And these resolutions were adopted
unanimously, so every single country that
took part in these World health assemblies agreed that complementary, alternative
and traditional medicine should be
integrated into the healthcare systems.

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