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

Published: 4th Apr, 2022

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

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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