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Welcome to Gifts of Health

The majority of the world’s population relies on traditional, complementary and alternative systems of healthcare – such as herbal medicines; physical and manipulative therapies such as acupuncture, massage and traditional orthopaedics; mind-body approaches to managing and preventing illness – such as yoga and meditation.

Despite their important contribution to world health, traditional and complementary approaches to healthcare are often under-funded and under-recognized at national and international levels. There is an urgent need for more research into their utilization, safety, efficacy and cost-effectiveness, and for dissemination of best practices and policy guidelines.

The Global Initiative for Traditional Systems (GIFTS) of Health was founded in 1993 with the aim of building partnerships at a global level between traditional health practitioners, scientists, educators and decision-makers, in order to improve the services provided to patients.

The Global Initiative for Traditional Systems (GIFTS) of Health also operates a registered British charity, GIFTS OF HEALTH, based in Oxford, and has outreach programmes in Asia and Africa. It focuses on policy, education and research in the context of:

  • Malaria, HIV/AIDS and TB as priority diseases
  • Traditional medicine in managing common ailments, especially skin conditions
  • Refugees and their utilization of traditional health services
  • Intellectual property rights and traditional resource rights

Conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plant resources

Mapping public use of Traditional, complementary and Alternative Medicine & the policy response to this – at national, regional and global levels.

Generating knowledge through research and publications in these & related areas.