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The World Health Organization called for countries to integrate traditional and complementary medicine into their healthcare systems, prompting online backlash from medical researchers who see the practices as pseudoscience, Politico reported Thursday.
The United Nations agency made the announcement Thursday during the WHO Traditional Medicine Global Summit in India. Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that traditional medicine has made “enormous contributions to human health, and has enormous potential.”
He added that the practice was “not a thing of the past,” noting that there has been a growing demand for traditional medicinal practices to prevent and treat non-communicable diseases.
The WHO made a series of posts on the social platform X – formerly known as Twitter – highlighting how traditional medicine has been integral to some scientific advances.
But many health specialists criticized the global organization for sponsoring “pseudoscience,” including prompting homeopathy.
The WHO responded that it aims to provide evidence and scientific validation for traditional medicine to ensure its safety and effectiveness for millions who use complementary and traditional practices.
Health insurance providers typically do not regularly cover the costs of complementary and alternative medicines. A study conducted in 2020 revealed that European nations like Sweden, Denmark, and Norway provided higher reimbursement rates for these treatments compared to countries such as Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.