The ninth meeting on traditional medicine and folk medicine in the greater Mekong basin began in Hanoi on September 5, with the participation of nearly 500 international delegates.

At the event, participants assessed the implementation of tasks put forward at the previous meeting. They also discussed regional cooperation in traditional medicine.

Addressing the meeting, Vietnam's Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son underlined that developing traditional medicine has become an important activity in public healthcare of nations in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. He added that the direction is also in line with the trend in the world with many countries worldwide seeking to use more products of natural origin and traditional treatment methods using no medicines.

The inheritance and development of traditional medicine, medicinal herbs and folk medicine, along with the popularisation and transfer of valuable knowledge in the field also plays a significant role for public healthcare, he noted.

Vietnam is currently home to 65 public hospitals and 12,000 private clinics of traditional medicine. Each year, about 30 percent of patients are treated by traditional medicine or in combination with modern medicine.

The country has paid heed to the development of research facilities, human resources training and international cooperation in the field.

Various activities were held during the meeting, including an exhibition on traditional medicine in Mekong countries and workshops on incentives for the sector's development, and a showcase for traditional medicine practitioners from countries in the region to demonstrate their traditional therapies.

The Greater Mekong sub-region consists of Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and China.

Source: China ASEAN Business Council