DECLARATION ON TRADITIONAL MEDICINE

BEING AN UNDERTAKING BY MINISTERS OF HEALTH
ATTENDING THE FIFTY-SEVENTH SESSION OF TWHO REGIONAL COMMITTEE FOR AFRICA

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WE, MINISTERS OF HEALTH of the WHO African Region, assembled in Brazzaville for the
fifty-seventh session of the Regional Committee for Africa,

Noting that today, 31 August 2007, marks the fifth African Traditional Medicine Day,

Recognizing the progress that has been made since the adoption of the Regional Strategy on Promoting the Role of Traditional Medicine in Health Systems,

Realizing that the theme for African Traditional Medicine Day 2007: Traditional Medicines Research and Development in the WHO African Region is in line with various resolutions adopted by ministers of health during Regional Committee meetings, and at summits and
other high-level forums,

Recalling that the Alma-Ata Declaration of 1978 on Primary Health Care recognizes the role of traditional medicine in health care,

Gratified by the substantial progress made by some countries in fostering traditional medicines research and development and the formulation of national policies and regulatory frameworks for the practice of traditional medicine,

Noting with concern that, in spite of the positive results in some countries of the Region, there is still a weak linkage between traditional medicine research, health services and policy making,

HEREBY SOLEMNLY COMMIT OURSELVES:

  1. To intensify our efforts to translate the regional strategy into realistic national policies and plans on traditional medicine including appropriate legislation;

  2. To develop mechanisms for institutionalizing the positive aspects of traditional medicine into health systems and improve collaboration between conventional and traditional health practitioners;

  3. To intensify our efforts to produce inventories of effective practices as well as evidence of the safety, efficacy and quality of traditional medicines and undertake relevant research;

  4. To actively promote, in collaboration with all other partners, the conservation of medicinal plants, the development of local production of traditional medicines and the protection of intellectual property rights and traditional medical knowledge; and

  5. To foster strong subregional, regional and international collaboration in information exchange as well as mobilize and allocate adequate resources for traditional medicine activities.

We declare that traditional medicines research and development is a priority in the African Region.


Done at Brazzaville this thirty-first day of August in
the year two thousand and seven