Soc Sci Med. 1987 ; 24(2): 177-81.
The best of both worlds: bringing traditional medicine up to date.
If there is to be any real improvement in the health of the underserved populations of the world, there will have to be full utilization of all available resources, human and material. This is fundamental to the primary health care approach. Traditional practitioners constitute the most abundant and, in many cases, valuable health resources present in the community. They are important and influential members of their communities who should be associated with any move to develop health services at the local level. There have been varying responses to a number of key WHO resolutions that call on Member States to develop traditional medicine activities as part of their national health services. Some aspects of the work of WHO Collaborating Centres for Traditional Medicine and some current activities of the traditional medicine programme are described. A number of guiding principles which may help the Organization and other international and donor agencies working in this area are also suggested.