IAP for Health launches new book on 'Exploring Traditional Medicine'

IAP for Health, a component network of the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) is pleased to announce the launch of a new book: ‘Exploring Traditional Medicine: Report of a symposium’. The book contains 24 case studies from 16 countries, with each case study having been identified by an academy member of IAP.

In September 2015, world leaders signed up to a series of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. SDG #3 calls for “ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages.”
However, millions of people worldwide – especially in developing countries – do not have access to or cannot afford ‘Western’ or ‘allopathic’ medicine and typically rely on traditional medicines.
Such medicines often have a long and effective history of use and, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), can play a large part in reaching the 2030 goal. A significant challenge, however, is the lack of scientific data and evidence that would help the wider integration of traditional medical practices into ‘mainstream’ medical care.
“A better understanding of the scientific basis of traditional medicine practices, including their safety and effectiveness, would therefore be useful in exploring the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of human disease and the sustainability of human health,” says Detlev Ganten, IAP for Health co-chair from Germany.
To address this need, IAP for Health (a network of 78 academies of medicine and academies of science with strong medical sections) is publishing this volume of 24 case studies.
The case studies were selected following a call to IAP for Health member academies and review by an expert committee established by IAP for Health. Authors were then invited to an international symposium in Beijing, China (23-24 September 2015), organized in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) and with the support of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences (CACMS).
“The case studies presented in this volume take advantage of the expertise found within our IAP for Health member academies,” adds Ganten. “Through this project, we aim to review and showcase successful examples of research into and implementation of traditional medicine practices, with the aim of building a platform to communicate and share these experiences.”
“This project explores the contribution of traditional medicines and medical practices to human healthcare and as well as the methodologies used to assess the science, safety, quality and efficacy of the products and processes,” adds Liu Depei, IAP for Health co-chair, China. “As some the case studies demonstrate, there is a lot that can be learned from traditional Chinese medicine, the Indian Ayurveda system, and other traditional medical practices that may be developed into effective and potentially more economical health solutions globally.
“By publishing this collection of case studies, we hope that developing countries, with their limited human resources and limited access to allopathic medicines, as well as high-income countries, will be able to select the most appropriate examples and adapt them to their own particular national challenges,” adds Liu.
For the volume, the papers originally presented at the Beijing symposium have been adapted by IAP coordinator, Peter McGrath, and freelance editor, Paul Tout, with the aim of making them accessible to a wider audience, including policy-makers.
The book will be officially launched at ICTAM IX, the 9th International Congress on Traditional Asian Medicines (https://www.ictam2017.uni-kiel.de/en), being held in Kiel, Germany, on 6-12 August 2017.
To assist with outreach to a wide audience, the book is being distributed free of charge (please contact [email protected] for copies) and is available for download from http://www.iamp-online.org/content/traditional-medicine and http://www.interacademies.net/Publications/31264.aspx.