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This Is What ‘Health For All’ Looks Like: WHO Chief On India’s Commitment Towards Healthcare And Traditional Medical Practices

India has a rich history of traditional medicine and the country is trying to integrate it in healthcare system, said World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

This Is What ‘Health For All’ Looks Like: WHO Chief On India’s Commitment Towards Healthcare And Traditional Medical Practices

New Delhi: India has paved the way for traditional medicine around the world, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said during the WHO Traditional Medicine Global Summit in Gandhinagar, Gujarat on Thursday (August 17). The Global Summit is being held alongside the G20 health ministerial meeting, to mobilise political commitment and evidence-based action on traditional medicine, which is the first port of call for millions of people worldwide to address their health and well-being needs. The event is being co-hosted by WHO and the Government of India.

Also Read: Traditional Medicine Can Improve People-Centred Health Care: WHO’s Poonam Khetrapal Singh 

In his opening remarks at WHO Traditional Medicine Global Summit, Dr Tedros said that the Indian government is doing commendable work integrating traditional medicines at the primary healthcare level, by creating wellness gardens in the clinics. He said that one of the great strengths of traditional medicine is the understanding of the intimate links between the health of humans and the environment. Dr Tedros added,

Traditional medicine is as old as humanity itself. Throughout history, people in all countries have used traditional healers and adhered to ancient medical practices to meet their needs for traditional health and well-being. The WHO is committed to supporting countries to unlock the potential of traditional medicine through the global traditional medicine centre in Jamnagar, which I had the honour to launch with Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year.

About India’s progress in ensuring healthcare services to the last mile, Dr Tedros said that the country is working towards fulfilling its commitment through various health schemes and programmes like the Ayushman Bharat and investing in primary healthcare by establishing numerous health and wellness centres across the country.

Also Read: World Must Be Ready To Answer The Next Pandemic “Decisively, Collectively, Equitably”: WHO Chief 

The WHO Director-General said the organisation has been urging countries to invest in the primary healthcare system, and India is doing that.

As you know, many countries, including high-income countries, were surprised by COVID. The problem was a lack of investment in primary healthcare. So, when I say investment in primary healthcare, it’s for all countries, whether they’re high-income, middle-income, or low-income. So, this is the right investment that India has made, he said, as quoted by news agency ANI.

Talking about his visit to the healthcare centre at Adraj village in the Mahesana district of Gujarat, Dr Tedros said,

The health and wellness centre provides primary healthcare services to almost 5,000 people in 1,000 households. The functionality of these centres is applaudable.

Also Read: “We Are Tracking Several COVID-19 Variants, Including EG.5,” Says WHO Director Dr Tedros

The WHO chief also highlighted the government’s use of tele-consultation services at these primary health and wellness centres. He further said,

India is utilising tele-medicine for providing consultations remotely, expanding the delivery of services and saving patients time and money on travel.” This is what ‘Health For All’ looks like.

He added,

India has a rich history of traditional medicine through Ayurveda, including yoga, which has been shown to be effective in alleviating pain.

Also Read: WHO Chief Says World At “Critical Juncture” In Covid Pandemic 

To incorporate traditional medical practices by all the nations, Dr. Tedros requested:

  • All the countries come up with strategies to integrate traditional and modern medicines into their national health systems.
  • Recognise evidence and action-based recommendations that can inform the next WHO traditional medicine global strategy.
  • Use the summit as an outset for a global movement to unlock the power of traditional medicine through science and innovation.

Talking about the summit, the WHO Chief said the organisation plans to conduct such events regularly (once every two years), to provide an established global forum for sharing evidence and best practices in the use of traditional medicine.

Also Read: “We Are Tracking Several COVID-19 Variants, Including EG.5,” Says WHO Director Dr Tedros

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 – theLGBTQ 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 currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) 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, fightmalnutrition, 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 likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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