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• Cuba

Integrating the practice of traditional and natural medicine into the health system
International Interest

Cuban experience in the integration of TRM into the health services has captured the interest of increasing numbers of institutions and specialists from different countries, which in recent years have been collaborating with this programme in a variety of ways. These include Spain, Italy, USA, Guatemala, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, China, Korea and Colombia.

Joint projects have been carried out with:

 Italy: TRM training at the university level.

 Spain: Joint research in phytotherapy and studies on equipment needed for TRM treatment.

 United States: TRM training at the university level. Medic Project and training for yoga instructors, Yoga va Project.

 Venezuela and Colombia: assistant teacher exchanges.

 Dominican Republic: studies on medicinal flora.

 China, Vietnam and Korea: training in traditional Chinese medicine.

 Mexico: creation of TRM centres and homoeopathy and herbalism researchers.

 China: historical studies. Chinatown Project, cultural and historical exchange.

Governments of 62 countries around the world currently benefit from the medical services provided by more than 3,000 Cuban health experts. Most are based in mountainous terrain or rural areas far from cities, where health assistance is inexistent or extremely precarious. 80% of these specialists are applying forms of TRM treatments precisely in those areas, where they are most appreciated and where people are most exposed both to natural disasters and the lack of infrastructure.

National recognitions and awards include:

 Recognition from the National Commission of Science and Technical Forums for the TRM programme's for consecutive years of contributions in science and economics.
 12 consecutive years of prizes awarded in science and technical forums to about 500 scientific TRM projects.

International recognitions and prizes include:

 Recognition from the University of Sri Lanka for the development of acupuncture in Cuba, 1987
 Recognition from the Latin-American Society of Natural Medicine (SOLAMENAT), 1991
 Recognition for the Treatment of Asma with Natural Methods, 1993, Venezuela
 Excellence prize for the Management of TRM in Natural Disasters, awarded during the Conference on the Integration of Medicine, 1999, Colombia
 Prize for contributions in the teaching of flower therapy, awarded by the Latin-American Association of Flower Therapy, 2001
 Recognition from the Ecuadorian Society of Homeopathic Medicine for Cuban Homoeopaths, 2001
 Recognition from the US MEDIC Project for the teaching of TRM in Cuba, 2002.
 Cubans awarded honorary membership of Chilean Acupuncture Society of Surgeons
 Cubans awarded honorary membership of Puerto Rico Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and appointed tutors at the Bastyr University.
 Cuban Academy of Sciences National Prize 2007 for the characterization of mineral and medical waters and hydrogeological studies.

The prestige acquired by Cuba in this area has led various international TRM organisations to hold events and conferences in Cuba. So far, 176 conferences have been organised on Natural Medicine.

The use of TRM integrated with other national health services is practiced in Vietnam, Korea and China. However, all countries make use of these practices in one way or the other, whether it be traditionally in a few isolated communities, or privately in just a few isolated institutions.
For many indigenous ethnic groups and communities in different countries, such as Argentina and Brazil, it is the only medical resource.