BIREME Bulletin n° 8

A new theme in the VHL: natural medicine and complementary therapies

A new technical cooperation agreement was signed between BIREME, PAHO/WHO Nicaragua, and the Instituto de Medicina Natural y Terapias Complementarias de Nicaragua for the development of a Natural Medicine andnicaragua-rose1-220x146 Complementary Therapies VHL (NM&CT VHL). This agreement started as a national initiative with Nicaragua, but has great potential of expanding to other countries.

The effort is aligned with the WHO Strategy on Traditional Medicine (2014 -2023) and its main goal is to promote visibility, access to, use and generation of scientific and education content and health data, to contribute to actions of promotion and development of Natural Medicine and Complementary Therapies (NM&CT) in Latin America and the Caribbean region (LA&C).

The NM&CT VHL will be presented at the Regional Meeting “Avançando rumo Ă  SaĂșde Universal, aportes da Medicina Tradicional e Complementar”, which will take place in Managua, Nicaragua on July 6-8. The meeting will be held in coordination with the Regional Area of Health Systems and Services at the PAHO headquarters (HSS/PAHO) in order to validate the next steps towards the creation of a collaboration network and the development of sources of information on this topic.

The main lines of action of this project are:

  • Developing a NM&CT VHL to integrate different types of content and sources of information relevant to the theme Natural Medicine and Complementary Therapies, such as scientific and technical information, legislation, learning material and others;
  • Promoting decision-making processes based on information, to offer the best knowledge and evidence to researchers, managers, students and professionals interested in the area of NM&CT; and
  • Increasing the visibility and sharing of experiences, as well as the good practices at promoting, practicing and developing topics on NM&CT.

Nicaragua already has an inventory of sources of information and a classification of topics related to NM&CT. Moreover, institutions and individuals to be considered as potential members of a collaboration network have already been identified.

BIREME offers the VHL model to develop a portal on NM&CT; training activities aimed at the collaboration network and the coordinators of the initiative; and the development of applications for the integration of information and educational resources of the national and international sources of information via a Web portal.

According to Dr. Socorro Gross, PAHO/WHO Representative in Nicaragua, “this portal will allow us to have important information at hand. This information will enable us to better deal with interculturality and to rescue ancestral, alternative, complementary or integrative practices. It will also broaden knowledge with adequate information for decision making”.

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