Event Integrative Medicine and Health in prevention and management of COVID-19 and long COVID European Parliament, Brussels and online

On Thursday 2 June the MEP Interest Group on Integrative Medicine and Health will host an event with leading experts in the field of Integrative Medicine and Health in the prevention and management of COVID-19 and long COVID. Expert speakers will share their knowledge and insights.

Enhancing resilience: a solution for COVID-19 and other infectious illnesses

Certain common medical conditions put people at higher risk for severe illness and death from COVID-19. Nearly two-thirds of COVID-19 hospitalisations could be attributed to obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and heart failure. There is increasing awareness that a health system that focuses on improving health could prevent all these conditions to a large extent.

Many people remain unaffected or develop a mild illness because infectious disease comprises two factors: the microbe on one side and population health and resilience on the other.  Reducing susceptibility by building an effective immune system needs focus at this crucial time.

Long COVID

More than 40% of people who have or had COVID-19 get Long COVID, and among people who needed hospitalisation, the statistics go up to 57%. The recovery from such post-viral syndromes will be greatly helped by offering patients access to complementary and integrative medicine interventions that aim at restoring their health.

COVID-19

COVID-19 is just the latest zoonotic disease, and more are likely to follow. Viruses naturally mutate over time, reducing first-generation vaccination efficacy. Health systems, therefore, need to change their focus to achieving a healthy and resilient population. CIM interventions can play a role because they aim to increase health and resilience, reduce susceptibility, and mitigate responses to infections.

Scientific research

The scientific literature provides substantial evidence that lifestyle interventions can improve resistance to viral infections and reduce the risk of severe disease. More research is needed to assess the added value of CIM interventions to improve resilience to COVID-19 infection and reduce the risk of severe COVID-19 or the development of Long COVID.

Integrative Medicine and Health in prevention and management of COVID-19 and long COVID

Expert speakers will share their knowledge and insights about how:

  • Complementary and Integrative Medicine and Health interventions can improve resilience to COVID-19 infection.
  • Promoting resilience and health restoration can reduce the risk of severe COVID-19 or the development of Long COVID.
  • These interventions can improve the recovery from Long COVID.

WHO

A representative of the World Health Organisation will elaborate on WHO’s position on complementary and integrative medicine interventions in managing COVID-19.

NCCIH, USA

The Director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health at the National Institutes of Health in the USA will present the role of this governmental institution in conducting research into the effectiveness of complementary and integrative medicine interventions in the prevention and management of COVID-19 and long COVID

Agenda of the event Integrative Medicine and Health in prevention and management of COVID-19 and long COVID

Moderator: MEP Michèle Rivasi

  1. Welcome words MEP Michèle Rivasi
  2. Therapeutic strategies of complementary medicines in the COVID 19 pandemic and Long COVID in addition to conventional medicine
    Dr Joanna Dietzel, MD
  3. Chinese herbal medicine treatment in cases of infections with SARS-CoV-2 - therapeutic strategies for COVID-19 and Long COVID
    Dr Christian Thede, MD
  4. Infectious illness and patient resilience: in preparation for the next pandemic
    Dr Joan Vidal-Jove, MD 
  5. Traditional and Complementary Medicine contributions to health system resilience during COVID-19 - the WHO perspective, 
    Dr Geetha Kopalakrishna, MD
  6. Research programme into integrative medicine's contribution to improving resilience to COVID-19 infection and reducing the risk of severe COVID-19 or development of Long COVID, 
    Dr Helene M. Langevin
  7. Reactions by members of the MEP Interest Group 
  8. Q&A session 
  9. Conclusions by MEP Michèle Rivasi 

Key speakers Integrative Medicine and Health in prevention and management of COVID-19 and long COVID

Dr Joanna Dietzel, MD, neurologist, acupuncturist. Department for integrative & complementary medicine, Institute of social medicine, epidemiology and health economics, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany.

Dr Christian Thede, MD, General practitioner, specialised in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. A former lecturer in Chinese medicine, University of Witten-Herdecke, Germany Instructor for acupuncture and Chinese medicine at the International Society of Chinese Medicine (SMS).

Dr Joan Vidal-Jove, MD, Director of Comprehensive Tumor Center Barcelona, Institut Khuab for Interventional Oncology, Spain.

Dr Geetha Kopalakrishna, MD, Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine & Surgery, technical officer at the Traditional, Complementary & Integrative Medicine Unit, Department of Service Delivery and Safety, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland. A key member of the AYUSH-based COVID-19 response Task Force for the Government of India.

Dr Helene M. Langevin, Director at National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland (MD), USA. Previously, Director of the Harvard Osher Center for Integrative Medicine and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, Boston (MA) and professor of neurological sciences at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont (VT).

MEP Interest Group on Integrative Medicine and Health

The Interest Group promotes Integrative Medicine and Health in all European Parliament public health policies. Integrative Medicine and Health bring conventional biomedicine and complementary medicine together in a coordinated way, focuses on the whole person and considers the individual in their physical, psychological, spiritual, social and environmental context. It offers an inclusive approach that meets the demand of EU citizens for a holistic, patient-centred approach in medicine.

The event is hosted by the members of the MEP Interest Group on Integrative Medicine & Health:

Michèle Rivasi, Greens/EFA, France

Sirpa Pietikäinen, EPP, Finland

Tilly Metz, Greens/EFA, Luxembourg

Margrete Auken, Greens/EFA, Denmark

Romana Jerković, S&D, Croatia

Manuela Ripa, Greens/EFA, Germany

More about the MEP Interest Group on Integrative Medicine & Health can be read here.