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

As part of the "Health for All by the Year 2000" effort, the World Health Organization issued the Declaration of Alma Ata at the end of the International Conference on Primary Health Care in 1978, which, amongst other proposals, called on the international community to integrate scientifically proven alternative medicines and traditional therapies into their national health systems. At present WHO continues to follow the development of Natural and Traditional Medicine elaborating a working strategy at the global level. As far as Cuba is concerned, a number of clinics were already using various forms of traditional medicine, but it wasn't until 1996 that a programme of strategic objectives and measures was passed to develop these techniques and methods. Now, 12 years later, the techniques of traditional and natural medicine, or TRM (known as MTN in Cuba), have been definitively incorporated into the national health system of Cuba.

By Martha Pérez, Lourdes Acosta y Jorge Luis Campistrous