Washington, DC, June 21, 2017 (PAHO/WHO)- The Pan American Health Organization's (PAHO) Strategy for Universal Access to Health and Universal Health Coverage (Universal Health) (Resolution CD53.R14), reaffirms the importance of strengthening and developing people and community-centered health models promoting access to Universal Health.  Universal Health means that all people and communities have access, without discrimination, to comprehensive, adequate, timely, quality, nationally determined health services according to needs.

consortium-hr-500pixIn 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) published the WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023 that sets out the course for traditional and complementary medicine (T&CM) for the next decade. Among the strategy's goals are: building the knowledge base and formulating national policies to integrate T&CM services into national health systems.

Together, these resolutions provide a vision and strategic guidance to respond with concrete actions the challenge of integrating the T&CM services into people and community-centered national health systems. In this context, on June 6-8, 2017, PAHO convened the meeting "Advancing towards universal health: contributions of traditional and complementary medicine", in Managua, Nicaragua, with the objective of developing a collaboration agenda for the identification of initiatives related to T&CM that contributes to the implementation of the Strategy for Universal Health in the Region.

Representatives from 21 countries from the Region participated in the meeting: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Puerto Rico including local health authorities, academic institutions, integration organizations, representatives of indigenous and Afro-descendant populations, international collaborators and PAHO and WHO officials. Participants exchanged countries' experiences about the integration of T&CM services into their nationals' health systems (for more information, access the meeting presentations here).

During the meeting, PAHO recommended to incorporate the discussion of T&CM into the processes of transformation and strengthening of health systems and services. "This is essential to address a comprehensive care centered on people and communities, using intercultural and inclusive frameworks", said Amalia Del Riego, Unit Chief, PAHO/WHO Health Services and Access Unit. Likewise, she added that it is necessary to strengthen the institutional consideration given to the T&CM and its approaches, in the context of the Strategy for Universal Health.


Strategy for Universal Access to Health and Universal Health Coverage

WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023

PWR Nicaragua: Reunión Regional avanzando hacia la salud universal, aportes de la medicina tradicional y complementaria


Opening Remarks

Experience Exchange

Knowledge base strengthening, professional training and reserarch

The rol of T&CM in reducing Health Disparities

Regulation. Professional training, service provision, production and distribution of products, resource sustainability

Integration to improve health services and health outcomes