Traditional and Complementary Medicine Businesses in Kota Kinabalu
Traditionally, many TCM practices (Traditional and Complementary Medicine; also known as CAM or Complementary and Alternative Medicine) have emphasized health promotion; TCM practitioners has been seen as a public health resource to increase the population’s access to certain “clinical preventive services”. As part of the integration of TCM practices into the public health arena, as encouraged by the WHO, it is important to investigate first the availability of TCM practices in the local environment. The objective of this study is to determine the prevalence of Traditional and Complementary Medicine (TCM) Practice in the City of Kota Kinabalu (KK), and how that may translate to the extent of the business of TCM in KK. KK has a population of about 470,000. This survey identified TCM premises based on prevalence and types in Kota Kinabalu, (excluding the districts of Penampang and Putatan). TCM was defined as the use of any methods and products not included in conventional allopathic western medicine. Surveys conducted from January-April on 547 “clinics" and premises offering in a singular mode or multitherapy. One hundred and fifty two types of TCM were identified, encompassing 9 basic types of TCM. The most common TCM providers were massage therapists (75.7%), traditional Chinese medicine (10.5%) and herbalists (5.9%). A wide range of TCM use was documented in this study. Our results at this preliminary stage of the study indicate that quite a variety of TCM therapy is available and thriving in this small city alongside conventional medicine.