Chairman of State Administration Council Prime Minister of the Republic of Union of Myanmar Senior General Min Aung Hlaing sends honorary message to Myanmar Traditional Medicine Practitioners’ Conference and Myanmar Traditional Medicine Seminar

21 December 2023

Officials, traditional medicine practitioners from regions and states and experts in the related professional fields, and guests at today’s Myanmar Traditional Medicine Practitioners’ Conference and Myanmar Traditional Medicine Seminar, I wish you all auspiciousness, health and happiness.

The first annual conference and seminar was held in 2000 and the present is the 22nd one. The heartening news about the 22nd conference and seminar is that traditional practitioners from various parts of the country will present suggestions collectively for all-round development of Myanmar traditional medicine.

Myanmar traditional medicine has been developing all along the thousand year’s long history as a deeply rooted cultural heritage and has been the source of health and longevity for Myanmar people throughout the successive eras. The true potency of Myanmar traditional medicine that is based on the four naya — desanaya, bhesijjanaya, vijjadharayana and nekkhattanaya  can be found in traditional medicine palm leaf treatises, literary texts, and medical treatises of the Tagaung, Shri Kestra, Bagan, Inwa, Konbound periods. Ancient documents stand as a solid proof of the healthcare services provided by traditional practitioners for the king, royal princes, royal court ministers, military commanders and the general public. Moreover, rural people, who represent 70 percent of today’s population, are still relying on and have full trust in traditional medicines for their healthcare services till now.

Currently, the State is promoting the public inclusive health sector for health and longevity of the entire nation. Hence, it is extending the number of traditional medicine hospitals and dispensaries in the entire country year after year to provide healthcare services for national races with indigenous medicine, which is a cultural heritage of Myanmar.

Modern medical sciences are developing in parallel with the popularity of organic drugs in the global countries. According to the quote “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food”, and the basic concept of traditional medicine, a balanced diet of six different flavors  sweet, sour, salty, spicy, bitter, acidic taste is the way to health and longevity. Hence, Myanmar traditional medicine must be preserved and valued, and the people should pursue a healthy lifestyle in accord with the principles of traditional medicine.

I would like to urge everyone to make an all-round effort to ensure that Myanmar’s traditional medicine exists proudly in the world by cooperating with international organizations and learning and sharing technologies in raising the standard of and modernizing Myanmar’s traditional medicine, which has been used from hand to hand throughout Myanmar’s history. The State will provide comprehensive support for the needs of all sides.

With the guidance and support of the State and under the leadership of the Ministry of Health, annual research funds are provided for research activities. The Department of Traditional Medicine is therefore urged to do more research in order to move from experience-based medicine depending on the powerful Myanmar traditional medicine treatments and procedures and medicinal plants to evidence-based medicine.

During the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic across the world, the Department of Traditional Medicine under the Ministry of Health conducted systematic research on the traditional medicine of Myanmar to treat fever and was able to identify a medicine that can cure the symptoms of COVID-19. I am proud to know that the traditional medicine hospitals and clinics are treating not only COVID-19 disease but also seasonal flu with their medicines. Regarding the production of Myanmar’s traditional medicines, the government is encouraging and supporting MSMEs, which are operating based on domestic raw materials, for their long-term guarantee. I would also like to encourage people to carry out systematic research on Myanmar traditional medicines such as fever medicine to gain public trust, and to expect to be able to export Myanmar traditional medicines, which are safe and quality guaranteed, not only within the country but also in the international community.

In conclusion, holding the Myanmar Traditional Medicine Practitioners’ Conference and Seminar every year is an important part of the development process of Myanmar traditional medicine and traditional drugs. The 22nd Myanmar Traditional Medicine Practitioners’ Conference and Seminar were supported by experts from the Ministry of Health and related ministries. I would like to express my gratitude to all those in the traditional medicine community who have cooperated with the needs of each sector. I send this honorable speech with prayers that the representatives attending the conference can meet each other in a friendly, united and open discussion and work together for the further development of the public health care activities and the academic aspects of traditional medicine.

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing

Prime Minister Chairman,

State Administration Council

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