India is set to build the first Global Centre for Traditional Medicine in collaboration with the World Health Organisation.
The AYUSH Ministry signed the host country agreement with the WHO in Geneva on Friday.
The centre will be based in Jamnagar. It will, however, cater to traditional medicine needs across the globe. The onsite launch of the centre will take place on April 21, 2022.
This global knowledge centre for traditional medicine, is supported by an investment of USD 250 million from the government of India. It aims to harness the potential of traditional medicine from across the world through modern science and technology.
This centre has been launched because 170 of the 194 WHO member states reportedly such as India, China, Indonesia use traditional medicine. The governments of these states have repeatedly asked the WHO to support and create a body of evidence and data for traditional medicine.
In a press statement, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said, "For many millions of people around the world, traditional medicine is the first port of call to treat many diseases. I'm grateful to the Government of India for its support, and we look forward to making it a success."
Traditional medicine includes knowledge, skills and practices of indigenous cultures used over time to maintain health and treat illnesses. It encompasses ancient practices such as acupuncture, ayurvedic medicine and herbal mixtures as well as modern medicines.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also commended these efforts.
In India, the Ministry of AYUSH heads the approval of the medicinal herbs and drugs.
However, there has always been a debate between the school of evidence based medicine and these alternate schools of medicine.
Earlier, BOOM has reported that many practitioners of AYUSH medicine like Baba Ramdev tend to downplay the effect of allopathic medicines while promoting the use of AYUSH medicines.
In the press statement, the WHO also said that with this new centre, they intend to focus on four main strategic areas: evidence and learning; data and analytics; sustainability and equity; and innovation and technology to further enhance the contribution of traditional medicine to global health and sustainable development.
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