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Sansad Tv: Perspective- Global Ayush Investment & Innovation Summit

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Introduction:

India will soon launch the AYUSH mark to recognise traditional medicine products, which will give authenticity to quality AYUSH products of the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said this after inaugurating the Global Ayush Investment & Innovation Summit 2022 at Gandhinagar in Gujarat. Also present at the event were – the Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Kumar Jugnauth and WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. In addition to the Ayush mark for Ayush products, the Prime Minister announced several other initiatives such as Ayush parks to encourage the promotion, research and manufacturing of Ayush products across the country… also a new category named ‘Ayush Aahar’ to facilitate the producers of herbal nutritional supplements. Further, for foreign nationals who want to come to India to take advantage of Ayush therapy, a special Ayush visa category will be introduced soon. The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone of WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine in Jamnagar. It will be the first and only global outpost centre for traditional medicine across the world and will emerge as an international hub of global wellness. To know more about how this centre for traditional medicine will contribute towards global wellness… India’s vision of One Earth, One Health and the critical role of India’s traditional medicine system in promoting better health outcomes and economic benefits for the world.

AYUSH system:

  • Ayurveda and Yoga started their journey more than 5000 years ago as ancient Indian sciences.
  • While Sidha is one of the ancient systems of medicines popular in South India, Unani, the traditional system of medicine has its genesis in ancient Greece.
  • Homoeopathy was developed in the early 1800s by the German physician Samuel Hahnemann.
  • These systems have enjoyed continued patronage of people over the years.
  • Most of the traditional systems of India including Ayurveda have their roots in folk medicine.
  • Some important treatises on Ayurveda like the Sarangdhara Samhita and Chikitsasamgraha by Vangasena, the Yagaratbajara, and the Bhavaprakasa of Bhavamisra were compiled.
  • Yoga is essentially spiritual and it is an art and science of healthy living which focuses on bringing harmony between body and mind.
  • The Unani system of medicine originated in Greecethen in India during the medieval The fusion of traditional knowledge of ancient civilizations like Egypt, Arabia, Iran, China, Syria and India. It emphasizes the use of naturally occurring mostly herbal medicines and some medicines of animals, marine and mineral origin.
  • The Musalajati-Darshikohi of Nuruddin Muhammad, dedicated to Darashikoh, deals with Greek medicine and contains, at the end, almost the whole of Ayurvedic material medica.
  • Siddha is one of the ancient systems of medicine in India having its close links with Dravidian culture. The term Siddha means achievements and Siddhars are those who have achieved perfection in medicine. 18 Siddhars are said to have contributed.
  • Sowa Rigpa or Amchi is 1 of the oldest surviving system of medicine, popular in Himalayan region. It was added in 2009. It is practised in Himalayan regions throughout particularly in Leh and Ladakh, HP, Sikkim, Darjeeling etc. It is effective in managing chronic diseases like asthma, bronchitis, arthritis, etc.

In contemporary times:

  • A department called Department of Indian System of medicine was created in March 1995 and renamed to AYUSH in November 2003 with a focus to provide increased attention for the development of these systems.
  • In 2014, a separate ministry was created under the Union Government of India, which is headed by a minister of state.
  • Ministry of AYUSH launched TKDL (Traditional Knowledge Digital Library) in collaboration with CSIR for prevention of grant of patents on non-original inventions by International Patents office.
  • National AYUSH Mission includes co-location of AYUSH at PHCs, CHCs and District Hospitals, upgradation of hospitals and setting up of upto 50 bedded integrated AYUSH hospitals.

Contemporary relevance of AYUSH

  • Non-Communicable Diseases can become bigger problem than being malnourished
  • NCDs threaten progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes a target of reducing premature deaths from NCDs by one-third by 2030.
  • Unlike modern medicine, AYUSH follows a more holistic approach, with the objective of promoting overall well-being instead of focussing on curing illness alone.
  • Such an approach assumes greater significance in the case of non-communicable diseaseswhich are difficult to treat once they have developed into chronic conditions.
  • Internationally, greater scientific evidence is becoming available regarding the health impact of alternative systems of medicine, especially Yoga.
  • It has been proved beyond doubt that timely  interventions  in  pre-diabetic  and  pre-hypertensive  conditions  with alternative  medicines  can  result  in  regression of diseases and restoration of health.
  • Yoga is effective not only in prevention and control but also in the treatment of diseases. The whole world today is adopting Yoga for a healthier lifestyle.
  • In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of AYUSH recommended some self-care guidelines for preventive health measures and boosting immunity with special reference to respiratory health. These are supported by Ayurvedic literature and scientific publications.
  • Following the AYUSH ministry initiative many state governments also followed up with healthcare advice on traditional medicine solutions to enhance immunity and disease-resistance, which are particularly relevant against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Way forward

  • It is important to gather scientific evidence for the safety and efficacy of AYUSH medicines and practices.
  • Work towards capacity building and developing a critical mass of competent professionals in the AYUSH sector through quality education and training at national and international levels.
  • True integration of traditional and modern systems is the need of the hour. This would require a concerted strategy for facilitating meaningful cross-learning and collaboration between the modern and traditional systems on equal terms.
  • There is a need to ensure substantial groundwork with respect to the prerequisites of an effective integration.
  • Building a strong traditional medicine evidence corpus.
  • Standardizing and regulating AYUSH practices and qualifications.
  • Delineating the relative strengths, weaknesses, and role of each system in an integrated framework.
  • Negotiating the philosophical and conceptual divergences between systems.
  • Accordingly, a medium- and long-term plan for seamless integration should be developed expeditiously in view of the massive drive for achieving universal health care already underway in the country and considering the vast potential of AYUSH to contribute to this cause.