International Congress on Traditional Asian Medicines (ICTAM IX) – ‘Encounters, Translations and Transformations’ was held on August 6 – August 12, 2017 in Kiel, Germany. The event brought together researchers, academics, industries, practitioners, civil society organizations, governments and other stakeholders working in the area of traditional Asian medicine to share knowledge and developing appropriate strategies for advancement and integration of traditional medicine in the region and for creation of a strong network to enhance research on traditional medicine. The congress specially highlighted contemporary status of traditional Asian medicine from a global perspective and its status in Europe. The program was attended by more than 350 delegates from 30 countries. The congress consisted of two plenary sessions, one round table, 39 panels, and 13 workshops. Traditional medical systems like Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese medicine, Unani, Yoga, Sowa Rigpa, Manchu, Kampo, Korean medicine and various folk health practices from the Asian region where represented at the conference.
Dr. Unnikrishnan Payyappallimana participated in the congress representing UNU-IIGH. In the plenary round table session on “Standardization, Evaluation and Implementation/Integration of Traditional Medicines” he highlighted the need for stronger focus on public health research for integration of traditional medicine to build better science-policy interface. In the panel on Asian Pharmaceutical Industries, he focused on the role of traditional medicine in achieving universal health coverage and how to ensure better implementation of policies on innovation to ensure access and affordability. He also shared reflections on how to make health market systems work for traditional medicine access in a complex system of intellectual property rights protection, promoting innovation at the same time assuring resource sustainability and equity. In another panel on “Creating a Digital Knowledge Base on Himalayan materia medica” he presented the experience of creating a national database on medicinal plants used in traditional medical systems in India.