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Equity Perspectives in Integrative Health: Insights from the Latin American Region

Presented by

Daniel F. Gallego-Pérez, MD, DrPH

The WHO has promoted the integration of Traditional and Complementary Medicine (T&CM) within national health systems as a mechanism to enhance equitable access to health. In most contexts, however, professional T&CM services (and products) remain an out-of-pocket expense, limiting its promise and widening the health and well-being equity gap. Since the Alma-Ata Declaration (1978), more recently ratified in the Declaration of Astana (2018) and the United Nations Political Declaration on Universal Health Coverage (2019), it has been recognized that T&CM plays an important role in primary health care. Furthermore, T&CM has been recommended to strengthen integrated people-centered health services. In this presentation, we will review equity considerations from a health systems perspective derived from national experiences aiming to integrate T&CM in the Latin American region.

Daniel F. Gallego-Pérez, MD, DrPH, is a T32 post-doctoral research fellow at the Program on Integrative Medicine at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.  His research focuses on primary health care, health systems strengthening, evidence and information synthesis and dissemination, and Therapeutic Pluralism (Traditional, Complementary, and Integrative Health and Medicine). After graduating from medical school, he served as a primary care physician and public health practitioner in a protracted refugee setting in Ghana, West Africa, for almost half a decade. After returning to Colombia, his native country, he designed and implemented a pilot project to develop complementary medicine services in public hospitals in Bogota between 2009 and 2013. He has been a consultant for the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), first at the Nicaragua Country Office, later at PAHO headquarters in Washington DC, and the PAHO/WHO’s Latin American and the Caribbean Center for Health Sciences Information in São Paulo, Brazil. He co-founded the TCIM Americas Network and the Virtual Health Library on TCIM. He is the immediate-past chair of the Integrative, Complementary, and Traditional Health Practices (ICTHP) Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA) and a visiting fellow of the Australian Research Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine (ARCCIM), University of Technology Sydney.

Research Seminars

The Osher Center for Integrative Health hosts monthly research seminars that are open to the research and clinical community at large. Seminars are held from September to June and are currently online only. Presentations cover a wide range of topics including mindfulness and integrative health intervention efficacy and implementation, social justice, and health equity, and neural correlates of mindfulness practice.  

Research Seminars are organized by Jennifer Felder, PhD, and Ariana Thompson-Lastad, PhD. Please contact Vierka Goldman with any questions.

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  • Julia Burns
  • Isabel Roth

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