TCM touted for big role in­ter­na­tion­ally

The coun­try will build 20 cen­ters around the world this year, in­clud­ing clin­ics and work­shops

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By JA­COB HOOSON and TANG ZHIHAO in Shang­hai Con­tact the writ­ers at ja­cob_peter_hoo­son @chi­nadaily.com.cn

Tra­di­tional Chi­ne­seMedicine can play a greater in­ter­na­tional role in pre­vent­ing chronic dis­eases and avoid­ing soar­ing med­i­cal costs, Wang Guo­qiang, vice-min­is­ter of the Na­tional Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning Com­mis­sion, said onWed­nes­day.

“Not only is TCM the trea­sure of the na­tion, it’s also one of China’s con­tri­bu­tions to the world,” saidWang, who is also di­rec­tor of the State Administration of Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Medicine. “We hope to ex­tend the scope of co­op­er­a­tion so that TCM can play a greater role in co­op­er­a­tion with other coun­tries,” Wang said.

Chronic dis­eases such as can­cer and car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease ac­count for 70 per­cent of deaths in China, ac­cord­ing to Chen Kaix­ian, a mem­ber of the Chi­nese Academy of Sci­ences, who ad­dressed del­e­gates at the Ninth Global Con­fer­ence onHealth Pro­mo­tion in Shang­hai.

“Mod­ern med­i­cal re­search has found that the top path­o­genic fac­tor (in chronic dis­eases) is an un­healthy life­style and be­hav­ior, rather than dis­ease,” he said. “There­fore, it’s nec­es­sary to fun­da­men­tally change the med­i­cal goal to dis­ease pre­ven­tion and health main­te­nance, which should be the core of sus­tain­able medicine.”

Zhang Boli from the Chi­nese Academy of En­gi­neer­ing and pres­i­dent of the Chi­nese Academy of Chi­nese Med­i­cal Sci­ences sug­gested that other coun­tries adopt a “China-style” ap­proach, Wang Guo­qiang, 5.0 4.6 4.2 3.8 3.4 3.0 2012 2013 2014 which is to de­velop tra­di­tional and com­ple­men­tary medicine and Western medicine with equal im­por­tance.

“We should shift em­pha­sis from dis­ease to qual­ity of life and from phys­i­cal ill­ness to psy­cho­log­i­cal bal­ance,” he said.

Such shifts have re­ceived the back­ing of ma­jor or­ga­ni­za­tions such as the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion, which in 2013 re­leased the Tra­di­tional Medicine Strat­egy (2014-23) aimed at har­ness­ing the po­ten­tial con­tri­bu­tion of tra­di­tional and com­ple­men­tary medicine to health, well­ness and peo­ple­cen­tered care.

How­ever, the de­vel­op­ment of tra­di­tional and com­ple­men­tary medicine is not unique to China.

“In South Africa, non­con­ven­tional medicine is also used, but it is re­ferred to as com­pli­men­tary medicine,” said Pre­cious Mat­soso, the ses­sion’s mod­er­a­tor, and di­rec­tor-gen­eral of health pol­i­cyand­plan­ning for South Africa’sMin­istry ofHealth.

The Chi­nese gov­ern­ment has pro­moted co­op­er­a­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween other coun­tries in the TCM sec­tor by in­clud­ing it in an ac­tion plan for the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive re­leased last year.

This year, it plans to build 20 TCM cen­ters around the world, which­will in­clude clin­ics and ar­eas to learn about TCM, and pro­vide work­shops for med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als.

See­ingTCM’s clear ben­e­fits as a pre­ven­tive ap­proach to chronic dis­ease and its cost ef­fec­tive­ness, other coun­tries are be­gin­ning to fol­low China’s lead.

“One-hun­dred per­cent of health cen­ters will be able to pro­vide tra­di­tional medicine ser­vices by 2020,” said Zhang Qi, di­rec­tor of the WHO’s de­part­ment of tra­di­tional and com­pli­men­tary medicine. “Thai­land plans to achieve the same.”

Not only is TCM the trea­sure of the na­tion, it’s also one of China’s con­tri­bu­tions to the world.”

di­rec­tor of the State Administration of Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Medicine

Shan Juan con­trib­uted to this story.

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