Daily Archives: June 25, 2019

WHO Recognizes Traditional Chinese Medicine, And Conservationists Aren’t Happy

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The World Health Organisation recently recognised traditional medicines, like acupuncture in Bankstown, and green groups aren’t pleased.

The World Health Assembly recently wrapped up in Geneva, and had 194 member states adopt the latest iteration of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), which, in turn, accepts WHO’s recognition of traditional medicines, like acupuncture in Bankstown, as a legitimate diagnostic source.

The ICD defines the world standard for diagnosing, and understanding the causes of diseases, illnesses, and death, as well as the reporting of health conditions internationally. The adoption of the ICD-11 formally recognizes burn-out as a legitimate medical condition, on top of recognising diagnoses provided by traditional medicine for at least 400 medical conditions.

The ICD-11 has a supplementary chapter that talks about disorders and patterns of symptoms that were first noted down in ancient Chinese medicine, now known across the world, but more commonly recognised in China, Korea, and Japan.

The latter, however, was met with some flak, particularly with conservationists, who say that it might have negative implications for wild animal trade.

Panthera, a big cat conservation group hailing from New York, was one of the group’s who took umbrage with the recognition of the WHO. Their Chief Scientist, Dr. John Goodrich says that recognising traditional medicine, which uses wild animal parts, is effective approval from the UN on the overall practice. Failure to consider the repercussions, put effective regulations, and/or condemn the hunting and use of wild animal parts for medicine, he says, is egregiously irresponsible.

The list of wild animals being poached for traditional medicine is huge, with a massive illegal trade market across the world. For example, Singaporean authorities confiscated nearly 13 tonnes of pangolin scales, amounting to about 21,000 of the world’s most poached animal, intended to be used for Chinese medicine.

WHO, have defended their move, saying that including traditional diagnoses and treatment will do much to translate key information across Eastern and Western medicine, recognizing how many people are reliant on traditional, alternative, or complimentary medicine, so much so that it’s not easy to ignore them in global matter of healthcare.

The WHO already have a strategy for the inclusion of traditional medicine in healthcare systems in use across the world, and are looking for ways to have it managed and regulated properly.