1. Terms of the WHO Center: The Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medicine Sciences was designated as the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Traditional Medicine in 1983. Since then, the institute has served 9 terms with the durations from 1983 to 1987, 1987 to 1991, 1991 to 1995, 1995 to 1999, 1999 to 2003, 2004 to 2008,2008 to 2012, 2012 to 2016 and 2016 to 2020 continually.
2.The Terms of References Entrusted by WHO
2.1 Provide training opportunities for capacity building at the selected WHO member states relating to herbal medicines as requested by WHO;
2.2 Draft the guideline of DNA Barcoding for Traditional Herbal Medicine;
2.3 Draft the manual of Safety of Chinese Materia Medica;
2.4 Provide technical supports and advice to WHO;
2.5 Support WHO in organizing WHO working group meeting on safety management of toxic medicinal plants.
3. The Implementation and Achievement of WHO Projects
3.1 Medical Plants in China, written by the center, was WHO project 1986/1987. It was an English Monograph of the most commonly used 150 Chinese materia medica, with colorful pictures taken under natural conditions. The center fulfilled English manuscript of the monograph at the end of 1986. The monograph was published in 1990, supported by WHO and put on well-sale all over the world. Italian edition of the monograph was published in 1995; after that, it was reprinted in the second edition in English in 1998.
3.2 The center fulfilled the project: “The Serial Study and Clinical Application of New Anti-malaria drug Dihydro-Qinghaosu”, as 1996/1997 WHO project. During this period, the center carried out serial study and popularization of Dihydro-Qinghaosu, as well as organized “The Forum for Application of New Medicines from Qinghaosu Family”;
3.3 The center wrote The Guideline on the Safe Utilization of Traditional Chinese Medicine, as the 2002/2003 WHO project. The monograph contained 160 Chinese materia medica with their colorful pictures and instructions both in English and Chinese.
3.4 In 2005, the center compiled The Guidelines of Chinese Herb Seed Standards, as 2004/2005 Projects of WHO.
3.5 The center fulfilled “Protection and Utilization of Germplasm of Important Medicinal Plants” as 2006/2007 WHO project. Besides organizing “Forum of Measures for Protection and Utilization of Germplasm of Important Medicinal Plants”, the center also finished the report with same title of the forum.
3.6 The center implemented “The Collation and Popularization of Simple, Convenient and Fast Identification Techniques of Chinese Medicinal Materials” as 2010/2011 WHO project. The project collected and collated 100 commonly used simple, convenient and fast identification methods of Chinese medicinal materials, wrote training book, organized training course for participators of traditional Chinese medicine, popularized selected methods and techniques and achieved expected targets.
4. The International Person-to-person Exchanges Carried out by Experts from the Center
There were 26 experts from the center obtained WHO scholarships and project funds to study advanced techniques in USA, UK, Thailand, Netherlands, Philippines, Malaysia, Australia and Japan, etc. Moreover, 10 experts were invited as advanced counselors by WHO to participate in international and regional forums and deliver presentations, to discuss long-term plans, important issues, regulations and strategies of WHO and Western Pacific Region Office (WPRO).
5.The International Training Provided by the WHO Center
In the past years, the center provided professional training and lectures for 105 international scientific researchers and officers from the field of traditional medicines dispatched by WHO in 40 groups. These researchers and officers came from Malaysia, Vietnam, D.P.R. Korea, India, Myanmar, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Ethiopia, Cambodia and Lao etc. The experts from the center delivered lectures about development, regulations and policies of traditional Chinese medicine and safety evaluation, quality standards, identification of Chinese materia medica for these international trainees. Under the supervision of experts from the center, international scholars also practiced laboratory techniques of pharmacognosy, chemistry, chemical analysis, pharmacology and pharmacokinetics of Chinese materia medica. Experts from the center explained the profound in simple terms and arranged plentiful lab study for these international scholars for them understanding the essence of traditional Chinese medicine and tasting its intensive knowledge. Many of these international scholars sent letters to the center after back to home and appreciated highly the long history of China, fantastic effects of traditional Chinese medicine and friendly sentiments of Chinese people.
Moreover, since the year of 2001, the center has organized international training course as China aid for traditional medicine offers and technicians from developing countries entrusted by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Commerce, P.R.C. During the past 15 years, 376 international trainees from 68 countries participated in 12 training courses organized by the center. It specially invited high level officers from State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine and experts from health undertaking to deliver lectures for these participators. These lectures introduced the general development of medicinal plant study, policies and regulations, modern development and therapeutic effects of traditional Chinese medicine and its unique contribution for the world medicine, as well as its clinical practice experiences against different diseases. During these training courses, the center also invited international participators to visit typical traditional Chinese medicine hospitals, pharmaceutical manufacturers, botanic gardens for the purposes of expending cooperation, sharing experiences and promoting friendship. These training courses provided opportunities for international scholars to study from each other and to build up friendly bridges. They also promoted popularization of scientific achievements of traditional Chinese medicine study and establish new channels for international cooperation effectively.