Traditional Medicine - Towards Sustainable Development

Author

Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, Vice Chancellor, University Sains Malaysia, 11800 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Proceeding

Proceedings of the Women's Health And Asian Traditional (WHAT) Medicine II Conference

Date

28/7/2006

Keyword

traditional medicine, sustainable development, modern medicine, new drug, health care

Abstract

Plants - as food and medicine - have sustained humanity from the beginning. Along side it are other wellness and healing practices, generally categorized under the term "traditional medicine". Since then, traditional medicine has contributed tremendously towards the development of health care globally. Over time however, traditional medicine has largely gave way to modern medicine and the use of synthetic chemical compounds become the main stream in today's wellness and healing processes. This gives rise to a new albeit narrow, approach to health care. Of late, this model seems increasingly unsustainable involving the issues of access, equity and affordability. Modern drugs and treatments are still not available to parts of the world where they are needed most as been exemplified by medications for AIDS. Indeed, many basic diseases are still rampant on a global scale. Clearly, unless there is a rethinking about the future of health care, the prospect will remain dim.