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The United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) is one of the research and training institutes and programmes of the UN University system. As such, UNU-IAS conducts research, postgraduate education and capacity development, both in-house and in cooperation with an interactive network of academic institutions and international organisations worldwide. The institute’s research combines the social sciences with some of the physical and life sciences and is aimed at the development of informed policy-making to address global concerns.

As a component of its Biodiplomacy Initiative, UNU-IAS launched a programme investigating modalities to integrate traditional medical knowledge into the public health systems of developing countries. This programme analysed the “The Role of Traditional Knowledge in Public Health” looking at modalities to integrate traditional medicine in public health systems, in a mutually respectful, culturally sensitive way. UNU-IAS is guided by the belief that the best possible, accessible and affordable medicine has to be provided to people, everywhere, in line with the UN Millennium Development Goals. The research aims to prove that to improve access and quality of health care of the disadvantaged it is requiered to build on the existing wealth of experience and the presence of trusted practitioners who have the authority bestowed by their communities for generations. In addition, traditional medicine is becoming a popular alternative to the western approach in developing countries and various time-honored methods like acupuncture, homeopathy, Ayurveda, and many others are taught in medical universities and started to be recognised by governments as complementary to modern medicine.

Within the scope of its Biodiplomacy Initiative, UNU-IAS through its leading international researchers identified key case studies including success and failure stories and derived policy recommendations for public health authorities will be published in a report. Read more here

For more information on UNU-IAS work related to the BaCH Initiative see here