FAISALABAD - More than 70 percent population of the developing countries still depends on the complementary and alternative medicines as evidence CAM therapies have shown remarkable success in healing acute as well as chronic diseases, said medical expert during a seminar.

"Cultural beliefs and practices often lead to self care or home remedies in rural areas," said Dr Munir Ahmad, the Dean Faculty of Sciences, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, while addressing 5th national seminar on "Capacity Building of Complementary and Alternative Medical Practitioners". The seminar was organised by the university's Department of Biochemistry.

Dr Munir said that alternative therapies are utilised by the people who have faith in spiritual healers, clergymen, herbalists and homeopaths. He added these were the first choice for problems such as infertility, epilepsy, psychosomatic troubles, depression and many other ailments. He maintained that the traditional medicines have become an important source of healthcare, especially in rural and tribal areas of the country.  He stressed the need for capacity-building training courses for CAM practitioners so that they could contribute with innovative skills. Programme coordinator Dr Khalilur Rehman in his welcome address said that Pakistan has a very rich tradition in the use of medicinal plants for treatment of various ailments. He was of the view that it necessitates the integration of the modern and CAM systems in terms of evidence-based information sharing.  He said the behaviour of the people especially in developing countries calls for bringing all CAM healers into the mainstream by providing them with proper training, facilities and back-up for referral. Dr Khalil said that the UAF had been providing training facilities to CAM Practitioners since last 7 years.

He added that more than 400 homeopath and herbalists have been provided with training by the University. Programme organiser Nazish Jehan, Dr Faisal Saleem, Hafiz M Younas, Dr Ijaz, Dr Irshad, Dr Fazal Mehmood and Dr Bilal also spoke on the occasion. Chief guest Dr Munir A Sheikh distributed certificates to the successful candidates.