Chinese medicine gets WHO recognition

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The World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies (WFCMS) has established an official relationship with the World Health Organization which will help traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) play a bigger role in providing health care to people overseas, officials from both sides said on Wednesday.

Beijing-based WFCMS, China's biggest non-governmental TCM organization, was admited at a WHO meeting last month.

"Participation in international health affairs can help promote the development of TCM overseas, making it part of medical and health care systems of other countries," She Jing, chairwoman of the federation and a former vice-minister of health, said.

TCM is practiced in 164 countries and regions, involving 300,000 employees, she said.

"After establishing relations with WHO, the WFCMS can attend various meetings held by WHO and will have a say in global decision-making on major health issues," Li Zhenji, vice-chairman of the federation, said.

She said WFCMS will provide technical support to the WHO and cooperate with other non-governmental organizations to promote TCM so it can better serve the health of people all over the world.

"The WHO recognizes the values and role traditional medicine can play in national health systems, especially in primary care," Bernhard Schwartlander, WHO representative in China, said.

There is continuing demand for traditional medicine around the world. It is not only used to treat diseases and is widely used for disease prevention, health promotion and health maintenance, he said.

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