Traditional Medicine Enters the Global Health Stage: A Historic Milestone for G20 Recognition

I. Introduction

The G20 Leaders Declaration from the recent New Delhi Summit makes several important commitments across a range of issues, from the global economy to gender equality and  to  made history by including traditional and complementary medicine (T&CM) for the first time. While brief, in Declaration point 28-iii on T&CM represents a monumental milestone with immense promise. 

II. Bringing Credibility and Visibility to a Side-lined Field

This simple yet powerful act of recognizing traditional medicine in the Declaration grants T&CM new stature on the global health stage. It brings credibility and legitimacy to a field long side-lined from major policy discussions and resources. The historic visibility provides momentum to integrate evidence-based T&CM into health systems worldwide.

III. Setting the Stage for Research and Integration

The Declaration prudently acknowledges the “potential role” of T&CM, given some practices require more research. But it opens the door for proven treatments to be incorporated into mainstream healthcare. Referencing T&CM in the context of universal health coverage nods to its vast possibilities for expanding therapeutic choices.

IV. Leveraging Established Efforts for Further Investment

While concise, the language cites ongoing T&CM evaluation through WHO collaborating centres and clinical registries. This builds on existing foundations to make the case for the G20 to invest resources that expand the evidence base.

V. Putting T&CM firmly on the Radar of Health Policymakers

This global attention brings unprecedented visibility that compels health officials in G20 nations to explore integrating traditional medicine. It also emboldens researchers worldwide to investigate overlooked practices. The Declaration gives T&CM advocates leverage to argue for elevated priority.

VI. Renewing Purpose for Traditional Medicine Practitioners

For healers who have preserved ancient arts for generations, this acknowledgement renews their vigour and reaffirms the value of traditional knowledge. It will inspire more youth to embrace careers sustaining these traditions.

VII. Conveying Hope and Dignity for Millions Reliant on T&CM

Importantly, this confers hope and dignity to the millions worldwide reliant on traditional therapies as their primary healthcare. The Declaration signals traditional remedies deserve greater respect and access.

VIII. Laying the Groundwork for Concrete Policies

This milestone plants a seed for traditional medicine to feature more prominently on G20 agendas going forward. It lays groundwork for more specific commitments, investments and policies to follow.

IX. Celebrating a Historic Breakthrough

We should celebrate this unprecedented breakthrough for traditional medicine on the global stage. Recognizing T&CM in the G20 Declaration builds momentum to fully unlock its enormous potential.

X. Conclusion

This historic inclusion finally grants traditional and complementary medicine its rightful place in global health discourse. The G20 has broken ground and created immense potential to integrate evidence-based T&CM into 21st century health systems worldwide. This pivotal moment will be remembered as opening a new era for traditional medicine.

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