alexa Is There a Role for Chinese Medicine on Community Health?

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Is There a Role for Chinese Medicine on Community Health?

Community health is gaining renewed interest in current medical practice and education but is not exactly a novelty subject. For instance, the earliest PubMed record on this subject is dated by 1923 on the announcement of a new scientific journal with an appealing name– Hygeia–aimed “to interpret medical science to the public”. The second earliest PubMed record on this subject published five years later called for a new organization of the national health care administration system to accommodate the need for the practice of preventive medicine. Currently, community health is a field of Public Health that focuses on the study and improvement of the health characteristics of biological communities mainly defined by their geographical area. When trying to answer the question that guided this editorial for the Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education, my immediate response was a shy and certainly biased ‘Yes!’. I think the reader must be aware of at least three arguments that directed me towards this positing. First of all, Chinese medicine is among the oldest medical practices still standing, likewise the community health practice of ancient Greek medicine based on the worshiping of Hygeia and Panacea. Indeed, the earliest record preserved today on this philosophic-systematic heath care system dates as early as the 3rd century B.C., namely the Neijing. This book is considered as a classic literature for everyone interested in Chinese medicine because it discusses several health-related issues, which are easily recognized as practices that we currently known in public health education: the recognition of risk and protective factors for morbidities, strategies for health promotion and disease prevention, the clinical horizon of morbidities, the need of an early diagnosis and immediate therapeutic intervention, and health outcomes such as cure, temporary or permanent disabilities and death. Second of all, since the publication of the Alma-Ata Chinese medicine faced a still increasing acceptance by both health practitioners from a variety of specialties (e.g. physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, nutritionists, psychologists) and the general population . Finally, much technical effort and financial budget has been spent to understand and scientifically explain to the society the sometimes obtuse knowledge found in pre-modern and modern Chinese medicine textbooks–many of them achieving results that may benefit the population at the community level.


Citation: de SáFerreira A (2014) Is There a Role for Chinese Medicine on Community Health? J Community Med Health Educ S3:e001. doi: 10.4172/2161-0711.1000s3e001

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