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India signs agreement to set up WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine in Gujarat

  • Published
    28th Mar, 2022
Context

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the government of India signed an agreement to establish a WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine at Jamnagar, Gujarat.

The agreement is signed between Ministry of Ayush and World Health Organization (WHO) to establish the WHO-GCTM at Jamnagar, Gujarat.

About

About Global Centre for Traditional Medicine:

  • The WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine (GCTM) is a knowledge centre for traditional medicine.
  • The 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 to improve the health of people and the planet.
  • The term traditional medicine describes the total sum of the knowledge; skills and practices indigenous and different cultures have used over time to maintain health and prevent diagnose and treat physical and mental illness.
    • Its reach encompasses ancient practices such as acupuncture, ayurvedic medicine and herbal mixtures as well as modern medicines.
  • The new centre focuses on four main strategic areas:
    • evidence and learning;
    • data and analytics;
    • sustainability and equity; and
    • innovation and technology
  • Its aim is to optimize the contribution of traditional medicine to global health and sustainable development.

Why is it needed?

  • Around 80% of the world’s population is estimated to use traditional medicine, such as herbal medicines, acupuncture, yoga, indigenous therapies and others.
  • 170 Member States report the use of traditional medicine, and their priority request to WHO is for evidence and data to inform policies, standards and regulatory frameworks for safe, cost-effective and equitable use.
  • Traditional medicine has been an integral resource for health for centuries in communities around the world, and it is still a mainstay for some with inequities in access to conventional medicine.
  • The sociocultural practice and biodiversity heritages of traditional medicine are invaluable resources to evolve inclusive, diverse sustainable development.
  • Traditional medicine is also part of the growing trillion-dollar global health, wellness, beauty, and pharmaceutical industries.
  • Over 40% of pharmaceutical formulations are based on natural products and landmark drugs, including aspirin and artemisinin, originated from traditional medicine.
  • The contribution of traditional medicine to national health systems is not yet fully realized, as millions of accredited traditional medicine workers, facilities, expenditures and products are not fully accounted for.
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