TRADITIONAL MEDICINES (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Health)

News-CRUX-10     17th June 2024        
Samadhaan

Context: Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) has designated the National Institute of Indian Medical Heritage, Hyderabad as a WHO Collaborating Centre for ‘Fundamental and Literary Research in Traditional Medicine’.


Traditional Medicines

  • About: It is the sum total of the knowledge, skills, and practices based on the theories, beliefs, and experiences indigenous to different cultures.
  • Uses: These skills are used in the maintenance of health as well as in the prevention, diagnosis, improvement, or treatment of physical and mental illness.
  • Literature and Records: Some traditional medicine systems are supported by huge volumes of literature and records of the theoretical concepts and practical skills.
  • Global Used: The most widely used traditional medicine systems today include those of China, India, and Africa.


WHO's Perspective on Traditional Medicine

  • Global Centre and Collaboration: WHO has established the Global Centre for Traditional Medicine in India to enhance traditional medicine's integration with modern science.

oIndia hosts 58 WHO Collaborating Centres, including the National Institute of Indian Medical Heritage (NIIMH).

  • Gujarat Declaration: World Health Organization (WHO) has released the outcome document of first WHO Traditional Medicine Global Summit 2023 in form of “Gujarat Declaration”. The declaration reaffirmed global commitments towards indigenous knowledges, biodiversity and traditional, complementary and integrative medicine. WHO underlined that the application of rigorous scientific methods is needed to better understand, assess and, where appropriate, apply more holistic, context-specific, complex and personalized approaches for health and well-being for all.


Efforts by India

  • Ministry of AYUSH: India's Ministry of AYUSH promotes Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy for holistic health and well-being.

oIt oversees the development of safe, effective, and quality traditional medicines accessible to the public.

  • Digital Initiatives and Portals: AMAR Portal, SAHI Portal, e-Books of Ayush, NAMASTE Portal and Ayush Research Portal.
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