I have been very impressed with the way in which the current Director General of the WHO, Dr. Margaret Chan, has engaged in public discourse around important health issues while in office. Here are some excerpts from a piece she published in an African newspaper this morning expressing her opinion as to why traditional medicines are used in favor of modern medicines in many cultures:

This [the use of traditional medicines] is the reality, and this form of care unquestionably soothes, treats many ailments. This is the reality, but it is not the ideal.

The point I wish to make is straightforward. Traditional medicine has much to offer, but it cannot always substitute for access to highly effective modern drugs and emergency measures that make such a critical life-and-death difference for many millions of people.

This is not a criticism of traditional medicine. This is a failure of health systems in many countries to deliver effective interventions to those in greatest need, on an adequate scale.

This article was sent to me from Bill Brieger’s excellent all-things-malaria blog and listserv.

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1 Response » to “Margaret Chan on the role of traditional and modern medicines”

  1. sarah says:

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