WHO sets up  a Global Centre for Traditional Medicine in India

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Government of India signed a memorandum of understanding today to create the WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine. This worldwide knowledge center for traditional medicine, sponsored by a USD 250 million investment by the Government of India, intends to harness the potential of traditional medicine from across the world using contemporary science and technology in order to enhance people’s and the planet’s health.

Traditional medicine is said to be used by over 80% of the world’s population. To date, 170 of the 194 WHO Member States have acknowledged using traditional medicine, and their governments have requested WHO assistance in developing a body of trustworthy evidence and statistics on traditional medicine practices and products.


“For many millions of people throughout the globe, traditional medicine remains the first port of call for many diseases,” said the company Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Ensuring that all people have access to safe and effective treatment is critical to WHO’s mission, and this new center will assist to harness the power of science to bolster the evidence foundation for traditional medicine.” I thank the Government of India for its assistance, and we look forward to making it a success.”

Traditional medicine refers to the whole of indigenous and various cultures’ knowledge, skills, and practices for maintaining health and preventing, diagnosing, and treating physical and mental illness across time. Its scope includes ancient techniques such as acupuncture.

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