GCTM Aims To Improve Quality Of Traditional Medicinal Practices: WHO

Story Highlights
  • WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine, set to come up in Gujarat.
  • It aims at improving the quality and safety of traditional medicinal practices.
  • PM Modi spoke to Director-General of WHO Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus for hosting the GCTM in India.

New Delhi: With India set to establish WHO Global Centre for traditional medicine in Jamnagar, Gujarat, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region has called it a “game-changer.” Traditional medicines, she said have been around for millennia and pointed out that nearly 80 per cent of people, in 170 of 194 WHO member countries use them.

“Despite their widespread use, traditional medicine lack robust evidence, data and a standard framework preventing their integration into the mainstream healthcare delivery system,” Dr Singh said in an exclusive interview. “WHOs Global Centre for traditional medicine could be a game-changer by focusing on evidence and learning, data and analytics, sustainability and equity, innovation and technology to help harness the ancient wisdom and power of traditional medicine, and to advance the SDG 3 target of ensuring the health and promoting wellbeing for all of all ages,” she added.

Dr Singh said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus and expressed India’s keenness in establishing and hosting the GCTM in India. The Government of India last month signed the ‘Host Country Agreement’ with WHO for establishing WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine in India at Jamnagar, Gujarat, with its interim office at the Institute of Training and Research in Ayurveda in Gujarat.

“Indian Government has generously agreed to support the setting up of the GCTM and its activities for the first ten years,” Dr Singh said. Noting that the COVID-19 pandemic is stretching and impacting the health systems across the world, Dr Singh pointed out many countries felt the need to mobilize all available resources to recover from the pandemic and accelerate progress toward SDG 3 goals.

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