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Experts call for integration of traditional and modern medicine
 
Date:2015-09-24  Source:Xinhua

BEIJING, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Academicians, experts and scholars from 21 countries gathered in Beijing on Tuesday to discuss traditional medicine, many calling for integration with modern medicine. 

"Traditional medicine, with thousands of years of history, is full of wisdom. I'd like to emphasize the word 'wisdom', because it's much more than just 'knowledge'", said Bernhard Schwartlander, representative of WHO representative office in China, at the "Exploring Traditional Medicine" symposium. 

Schwartlander shared his experience gained in both Germany and China and called for others to build a systematic base. 

Traditional medicine often refers to folk knowledge, skills and practices passed on generation to generation. In some cultures, traditional medicine has thousands of years of history. The earliest medical book in China dates back to 200 B.C.. 

"There are dozens of traditional medicine systems in the world, which offer us a new perspective on disease," said Fan Daiming, vice president of the Chinese Academy of Engineering. 

Some case studies were discussed including several types of Chinese herb which may cure cardiac disease and an African prunus that could treat prostate ailments. 

"There are still many unsolved medical problems, and traditional medicine can be a supplement to modern medicine," Fan added. 

Traditional medicine often lacks clinical evaluation of the results and there are no internationally recognized standard, according to Zhang Boli, president of China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences. 

With changes of disease spectra, traditional medicine is playing a bigger role in treating chronic illness and outbreaks of major diseases. WHO statistics show that in Africa, 80 percent of the population relies on traditional medicine for their primary health care needs. 

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