The WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023



Zhang Qi

Publication Identity

World Health Organization Traditional and Complementary Medicine Service Delivery and Safety Department


The WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014–2023 was developed and launched in response to the World Health Assembly resolution on traditional medicine (WHA62.13). The strategy aims to support Member States in developing proactive policies and implementing action plans that will strengthen the role traditional medicine plays in keeping populations healthy.

Background: demand and needs

Over 100 million Europeans are currently T&CM users, with one-fifth regularly using T&CM and preferring health care which includes T&CM . There are many more T&CM users in Africa, Asia, Australia and North America.

In India, There are 785 185 registered Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy(AYUSH) practitioners and an estimated one million village-based, traditional AYUSH community health workers.

In China, 907 million visits to traditional Chinese medicine in 2009 – 18% of all medical visits; 13,6 million traditional Chinese medicine inpatients – 16% of the total in all hospitals surveyed.

An extensive number of patients with multiple sclerosis resort to complementary and alternative medicine treatments: prevalence of use ranges from 41 percent in Spain to 70 percent in Canada and 82 percent in Australia.

In China, the top five diseases for admission to traditional Chinese medicine hospitals in 2008: cerebrovascular accident, intervertebral disc displacement, haemorrhoids, ischaemic heart disease and essential hypertension.