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Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru November 25 , 2020
The World Health Organisaton (WHO) will soon set up a Global Centre for Traditional Medicine in India. An announcement in this regard came from the WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a video message at an event in which Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi was addressing at future-ready Ayurveda institutions in western India.

The intent of the WHO is to set up a Global Centre for Traditional Medicine in India, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing confidence that just like the country has emerged as the ‘pharmacy of the world’, the WHO institution will become the centre for global wellness.

Ghebreyesus made the announcement in a video message at an event in which Prime Minister Modi dedicated two future-ready Ayurveda institutions in Jaipur and Jamnagar to the nation via video conferencing on the occasion of the National Ayurveda Day.

The Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda (ITRA), Jamnagar in Gujarat and the National Institute of Ayurveda (NIA), Jaipur in Rajasthan are both premier institutions of the Indian systems of medicine in the country.

Speaking to Pharmabiz, experts from the Foundation of Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions which have Institute of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine (I-AIM) and the University of Trans Disciplinary Health Sciences and Technology said that this was the step in the right direction.

In July this year, the Mahamana Declarations on Ayush, an independent initiative, was formed to give a fillip to Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy systems of medicine. Promoted by the Faculty of Ayurveda Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS) at the Banarus Hindu University (BHU), Quality Council of India (QCI), FICCI and Patient Safety and Access Initiative, its effort is to expand the reach and use of this Indian traditional medicine.

The whole idea was conceptualised by Prof. Bejon Kumar Misra, adviser-consultant, IMS, BHU who also leads the patient groups of the country with the formation of nine Special Interest Groups (SIGs).

In the wake of this we see India has been making several efforts to bring this traditional system of medicine to the fore. The gesture by WHO is laudable and now Ayush needs to strengthen its regulatory authority with suitable Act/Rules with proper implementation to keep country's to be able to manufacture 100% quality & efficacious medicines. It is here we see that the Mahamana Declaration members are working hard to submit a report to Minsitry of Ayush with suitable suggestions to make it achievable, said BR Jagashetty, former National Adviser (Drugs Control) to MoHFW & CDSCO.

DBA Narayana, chief scientific officer, Ayurvidye Trust, and a pharma scientist who has researched in Ayurveda for decades, notes that the long overdue action is happening now with this announcement. It is a welcome step and there is a need to work in a time bound manner to promote wellness delivery to consumers and patients. Indian knowledge systems of health care needs to be globally accessible. The WHO centre should consider to integrate it with current drug and device based health care.

From an industry perspective was Chintan Gandhi, managing director, Millennium Herbal Care who said that this was an excellent development for the Ayush industry. It will give further validation from a modern medical science perspective to Ayush treatments. A long-term collaboration with WHO can multiply the international market for Ayush products, possibly enabling them to make health claims as mentioned in the shastras.

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