Neil says, "In this debate about the pros and cons of traditional medicine, it would perhaps be helpful if we could look at this from the perspective of patients with specific healthcare needs."
The first need many patients in rural areas of developing countries have is finding anybody who knows anything to care for them. There is not much point in comparing the relative efficacy of different treatments when the problem is getting any treatment at all, or getting it at an affordable cost that doesn't plunge families into catastrophic expenditure. WHO has been developing the concept of "Free Health Care" policies (https://www.who.int/health_financing/documents/free-health-care-policies...).
While it remains an imperative need to assess traditional medicines and traditional medicine practices with a view to improving their efficacy, one should never lose sight of the fact that there is often little or no choice in which form of medicine to use.
HIFA profile: Chris Zielinski: As a Visiting Fellow in the Centre for Global Health, Chris leads the Partnerships in Health Information (Phi) programme at the University of Winchester. Formerly an NGO, Phi supports knowledge development and brokers healthcare information exchanges of all kinds. Chris has held senior positions in publishing and knowledge management with WHO in Brazzaville, Geneva, Cairo and New Delhi, with FAO in Rome, ILO in Geneva, and UNIDO in Vienna. Chris also spent three years in London as Chief Executive of the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society. He was the founder of the ExtraMED project (Third World biomedical journals on CD-ROM), and managed the Gates Foundation-supported Health Information Resource Centres project. He served on WHO’s Ethical Review Committee, and was an originator of the African Health Observatory. Chris has been a director of the World Association of Medical Editors, UK Copyright Licensing Agency, Educational Recording Agency, and International Association of Audiovisual Writers and Directors. He has served on the boards of several NGOs and ethics groupings (information and computer ethics and bioethics). UK-based, he is also building houses in Zambia. chris AT chriszielinski.com
His publications are at www.ResearchGate.net and https://winchester.academia.edu/ChrisZielinski/ and his blogs are http://ziggytheblue.wordrpress.com and https://www.tumblr.com/blog/ziggytheblue