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25 June 2014
International Congress on Traditional Medicine Unani-Tibb

Complementary and Traditional Medicine at International Unani-Tibb Congress

The first annual International Congress on Tibb An-Nabawi, held on 24 and 25 June 2014 in Ankara, Turkey, brought together academics, officials and health practitioners from China, Europe, the United States and more to examine how modernisation has affected the concept of traditional medicine across different cultures.

The conference, a collaborative effort of the Turkish government, the Muhder Institute and the National Health Institute of Istanbul, was aimed at spearheading a global revival of the traditional medicine known as Tibb An-Nabawi – a branch of Unani Tibb, a traditional form of medicine well-known in the East, and one with a long history worldwide.

“The World Health Organisation has recognised Complementary and Traditional Medicine (CTM) as an essential component of healthcare in most countries, and there exists today a global resurgence of CTM within communities and the medical science fraternity, wherein age-old concepts are reinterpreted in light of new scientific evidence,” explains Dr Mujeeb Hoosen, associate lecturer in Unani-Tibb at UWC's School of Natural Medicine.

Unani (Persian for Greek) Tibb (Arabic for medicine) has formed part of healthcare systems worldwide for hundreds of years – reputedly it began in Africa, was embraced by the Greeks, and was refined over centuries by Arab physicians. Tibb An-Nabawi places utmost importance on the preservation of health, integrating body, mind and soul in the quest for optimum health. It covers preventive and curative medicine, mental and emotional well-being, natural and herbal medicines and treatments, regimental therapies and also lifestyle adjustments. Tibb practitioners concentrate lifestyle and on diagnoses to find the best way to treat illnesses in accordance with individual dispositions.

Dr Hoosen delivered a well-received presentation entitled Temperament – The missing link in modern preventative medicine, focusing on the concept of individualised healthcare and how this concept can aid both CTM and allopathic medical practitioners.

“This was a valuable experience which broadened my understanding and appreciation of traditional medical knowledge,” says Dr Hoosen, who has subsequently been invited to join an international team of researchers who aim to promote the practice of Tibb An-Nabawi through evidence-based clinical research. “The conference marks a huge milestone in the future of traditional medicine in Europe, and can help broaden safe and effective treatment options for humanity.”

The conference was a high-profile event, with the presence and support of the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Health Minister and President of the Commission for Health. For more information, click to watch the video.