Southeast Asia to standardize training in traditional medicine

By Khanh An, Thanh Nien News

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A doctor examines a patient at the National Acupuncture Hospital in Hanoi. Photo: Thuy Hang A doctor examines a patient at the National Acupuncture Hospital in Hanoi. Photo: Thuy Hang


The 10 countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are facilitating the process of recognizing qualified traditional medicine health workers and assistant doctors.
Speaking at a conference held for the purpose in Ho Chi Minh City from December 14 to 16, Pham Vu Khanh, director of the Vietnamese health ministry’s traditional medicine department, said: “ASEAN countries are seeking to create a common training platform in traditional medicine which will help each country learn the best accomplishment of traditional medicine from other countries.
“It is also an important part of a commitment to improve primary health care services for people in the region,” Khanh said.
Future recognition of traditional medicine practitioners would improve primary health care across the bloc, he said.
“The training will depend on each country’s advantages. Myanmar is strong in herbals and Malaysia is good in quality assessment, etc.”
Health officials from ASEAN countries discuss training in traditional medicine at a conference in Ho Chi Minh City on December 14. Photo: Khanh An
Representatives from Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Vietnam have agreed on basic requirements for the training of volunteer health workers and assistant doctors in traditional medicine.
Vietnam, which has assumed the coordinator’s role, will gather opinions from other ASEAN members on the training model.
It will then be passed at an upcoming Senior Officials Meeting on Health Development.
The plan is among efforts to develop greater mobility within ASEAN, whose members will establish the ASEAN Economic Community later this month.

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