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Wiwanitkit V. Natural medicine curriculum development: A novel public health education promotion in Thailand. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2015;8:219
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Wiwanitkit V. Natural medicine curriculum development: A novel public health education promotion in Thailand. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2015 [cited 2017 Nov 14];8:219. Available from: https://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2015/8/5/219/159848
Public health education is a very important issue in public health at present. To promote education is very important since good knowledge can further result in good attitude and practice. In many developing countries, including Thailand, there are limited curricula pertaining to public health issues. Development of a new curriculum is very useful and should be the role of any higher education institute and university. Natural medicine or naturopathy is a new specific medical science that focuses on the application of natural products and the nonmedication system for health promotion and management of the patient. , The concept has been proposed since the 19th century. “The healing power of nature” is the basic concept. , It is concordant with the basic concept of primary prevention and promotes the self-care health system and local wisdom. Smit and Logan noted that “legislation of naturopathic medicine has worked well in jurisdictions where it is legislated and has led to uniform standards of education and practice.”  Obtaining licensure, controlling partially professionalized and lay naturopaths who are not graduates from any school, and controlling the possible danger of biomedical practitioners who adopt natural therapy concepts without proper knowledge are the main problems of natural medicine at present.  Hence, the role of education centers in developing a curriculum to match the requirement of natural medicine is important. , Such a curriculum exists in many countries including the USA;  however, it is still absent in Thailand. With much local wisdom on natural medicine, development of the new natural medicine curriculum can be a good salutation and chance for the local people to have higher education. In 2015, Surindra Rajabhat University became the first Thai university to develop, propose, and offer new degrees (M.Sc., Ph.D, and certifications) on natural medicine. This curriculum is a novelty for alternative public health education in this region. Of interest is the fact that the new Thai curriculum is one of the world pioneers and is the first ones in the region of Southeast Asia. In fact, in Europe, this curriculum has just been set in Germany. , As previously mentioned, naturopathy is one of the new concepts in the present reformed public health system that should be promoted and curriculum development is an important step to be considered in any setting.  Integration of trainees and bridging natural medicine and primary/rural medicine should be promoted for better public health services to the community. 
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None