International Pharmaceutical Students' Federation

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Seventy-second World Health Assembly (A72/1)
Agenda Item: 
- J. Traditional medicine

It is a great honour to speak on behalf of the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation, which represents over 350,000 pharmaceutical students and recent graduates from 90 countries worldwide.

Traditional and complementary medicine is seen as a more accessible, affordable and acceptable source of health care, especially in most rural areas in developing countries. To this day, it either remains to be a mainstay of treatment and serves to complement conventional medicine. There is data that 70% to 80% of the African Region has used traditional medicine as primary health care.

As medicines experts and the most accessible health care professionals, pharmacists play a vital role in ensuring access to safe, effective and quality traditional and complementary medicines and medical products. With this, IPSF believes mainstreaming the integration of courses on traditional and complementary medicine into pharmacy and other health professionals’ curricula is vital in ensuring the safe delivery of these health services. Moreover, we urge Member States to include pharmacists in the infrastructure for the governance of traditional and complementary medicine.

With the dynamic nature of health care and the many problems faced in this area, access to safe and effective traditional medicine is something that is easily overlooked. However, without the necessary actions in this area, true universal health coverage cannot be achieved. Therefore, IPSF calls on Member States to continuously integrate traditional and complementary medicine into health systems so that we are able to promote the safe and effective use of these products and services.