- On the eve of the yoga day WHO cited the health benefits of yoga
- WHO Regional Director: Yoga has helped many people during the pandemic
- Regular yoga practice helps to achieve the adequate physical activity
New Delhi: Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia said that yoga has helped hundreds of millions of people from various countries and cultures during the COVID-19 pandemic in staying healthy as well as highlighted that yoga is for all of humanity. On the eve of International Day of Yoga (IDY), WHO and its Member States in the South-East Asia Region lead global efforts to celebrate the physical and mental health benefits of yoga and its contributions to lifelong health and well-being.
In a statement Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director said,
Throughout the COVID-19 response, yoga has helped hundreds of millions of people from all countries and cultures stay healthy and well, highlighting that yoga is for all of humanity – the theme of this year’s IDY event.
Consistent with the Region-wide push to reorient health systems towards strong primary health care (PHC), she noted that the policy-makers should consider integrating yoga into community-based mental health and well-being initiatives, while also increasing efforts to leverage the power and potential of safe and effective traditional medicine.
Regular yoga practice can help people of all ages and incomes achieve the adequate physical activity, making it a high-impact, cost-effective way to prevent and control noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) – one of the Region’s eight flagship priorities, she added.
It has been shown to have immediate psychological effects, decreasing anxiety and stress, and increasing feelings of emotional and social well-being, the WHO Regional Director said ahead of International Yoga Day which falls on June 21.
She continued by saying that the Region continues to intensify action to increase physical activity and enhance mental health, in line with its Flagship Priorities, the WHO Global Action Plan on Physical Activity (GAPPA) 2018-2030, the WHO Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2030, and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Last year, WHO launched a Regional Roadmap on implementing the GAPPA, which will help the Member States identify and implement policies to achieve a 15 per cent relative reduction in the prevalence of insufficient physical activity by 2030.
Ministers of health and education from across the region issued a ‘Call to Action’ to scale up the implementation of comprehensive health programs in schools, including by facilitating the physical activity, further Dr Singh said,
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 response and recovery, policymakers should explore integrating yoga into preventive and promotive health strategies, especially for mental health a core priority in the months and years ahead.
These are exciting times for traditional medicine (TRM). In March, WHO and the Government of India signed an agreement to establish the WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine (GCTM) in Jamnagar, India. The GCTM – which is supported by an investment of USD 250 million from the Government of India – has a strategic focus on evidence and learning, data and analytics, sustainability and equity, and innovation and technology, with the overall aim of optimizing the contribution of TRM to global health and sustainable development.
The mission of the GCTM is well aligned with the Region’s longstanding focus on strengthening TRM system performance monitoring, increasing safety monitoring for TRM products, enhancing research capacity on TRM, and integrating safe and effective TRM into health service delivery, especially at the PHC level.
Yoga is not only widely accessible but also has widespread appeal, reflected in the 177 votes garnered at the UN General Assembly in 2014 to make the IDY an annual, globally recognized celebration, as well as the inclusion of yoga in physical activities at WHO Governing Body meetings in the Region and more recently globally, including at the World Health Assembly.
In the Region’s onward quest to prevent and control NCDs, WHO will continue to highlight the physical and mental health benefits of yoga, alongside other forms of traditional knowledge, skills and practice to prevent, diagnose and treat physical and mental illness. On the International Day of Yoga, WHO reiterates its commitment to support all countries of the Region to leverage the power and potential of yoga, for a healthier, happier and stress-free future for all.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.