Global Center for Traditional Medicine

Global Center for Traditional Medicine

News: Recently, the groundbreaking ceremony was performed for the first-of-its-kind World Health Organization (WHO) Global Centre for Traditional Medicine (GCTM) in Jamnagar, Gujarat.

Traditional Medicine:
• According to the WHO, traditional medicine is 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.
• In India, it is often defined as including practices and therapies — such as yoga, Ayurveda, Siddha.

Need for establishing GCTM:
• The Centre aims to channel the potential of traditional medicine, by integrating it with technological advancements and evidence-based research.
• It will seek to set policies and standards on traditional medicine products and help countries create a comprehensive, safe, and high-quality health system.
• It will support efforts to implement the WHO’s Traditional Medicine Strategy (2014-23). It aims to support nations in developing policies & action plans to strengthen the role of traditional medicine in pursuing the goal of universal health coverage.

Why is it necessary to acknowledge Traditional Medicine?
• According to WHO estimates, 80% of the world’s population uses traditional medicine.
• National health systems and strategies do not yet fully integrate traditional medicine workers, accredited courses and health facilities.
• There is a need to conserve biodiversity and sustainability as about 40% of approved pharmaceutical products today derive from natural substances.
• WHO has referred to modernization of the ways traditional medicine is being studied. Artificial intelligence is now used to map evidence and trends in traditional medicine.
• Traditional medicine is also being extensively updated by mobile phone apps, online classes, and other technologies.  

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