India signs agreement to set up WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine in Gujarat
Polity & Governance
5th Apr, 2022
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 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.