Reviving Ancient Healing Arts: Cambodia's Groundbreaking Approach to Healthcare (Video)
Traditional healers, with their deep knowledge of nature's bounty, have long played a pivotal role in providing healthcare in Cambodia. They use an array of natural ingredients, including dried plants, roots, and tree bark, to create effective remedies for various ailments. For individuals like Rani, who discovered a cyst in her chest, these traditional medicines are not only trusted but considered essential for maintaining health. While there are concerns about over-reliance on these treatments, the public's faith in them remains steadfast, fueled by concerns about the quality and cost of modern medicine.
In a move that seeks to enhance the credibility and effectiveness of traditional medicine, the first traditional medical school was established in Phnom Penh in 2009. Since its inception, the school has graduated 345 students, all trained in the art and science of traditional healing. The curriculum is comprehensive, spanning hygiene and anatomy lessons and field trips to the countryside to learn about medicinal plants. This formalized training supplements and professionalizes the knowledge handed down from ancestors. The aim is to foster an environment where traditional and modern medicine can coexist, working side by side to meet the healthcare needs of Cambodia's population, 80% of whom live in rural areas where access to doctors is limited.
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Top image: Traditional medicine ingredients in Cambodia. Source: YouTube Screenshot / AFP.