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WHO Group To Define Standards For Traditional Medicine

The WHO on Tuesday will begin an International Classification of Traditional Medicine (ICTM) project in an effort to offer “a unified, global set of statistical standards across diverse traditional approaches to health care,” Science’s “ScienceInsider” blog reports (Normile, 12/6). “We recognize that the use of traditional medicine is widespread. For many people – especially in the Western Pacific, South-East Asia, Africa and Latin America – traditional medicine is the primary source of health care,” Marie-Paule Kieny, Assistant Director-General of Innovation, Information, Evidence and Research at WHO, said, according to a WHO press release. “Throughout the rest of the world, particularly Europe and North America, use of herbal medicines, acupuncture, and other traditional medicine practices is increasing. Global classification and terminology tools, for traditional medicine, however, have been lacking,” Kieny said (12/7). The classification will “include data on herbal remedies, acupuncture, moxibustion, manual therapies and exercises, among others. ICTM will join the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and other WHO standards used to compare health care practices across disciplines and borders,” according to “ScienceInsider” (12/6).