PM Modi Lays Foundation for WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine in Gujarat

Screengrab of Doordarshan YouTube video - Sakshi Post

Jamnagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for first-of-its-kind WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine (GCTM) along with World Health Organisation director-general Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus here on Tuesday. 

The GCTM aims to harness the potential of traditional medicine from around the world through modern science and technology to improve people and global health. It is being supported by a $250 million investment from the central government. 

Traditional medicine is believed to be used by around 80% of the global population. Out of the 194 WHO member states, this type of medicine is practised in 170 countries.

According to the WHO, traditional medicine is “the sum total of the knowledge, skill and practices based on the theories, beliefs and experiences indigenous to different cultures whether explicable or not, used in the maintenance of health as well as in the prevention, diagnosis, improvement or treatment of physical and mental illness.”

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Earlier, Modi said the centre will add strength to the efforts of using traditional forms of medicine to further global wellness. On March 25, the World Health Organisation and the Centre had signed an agreement to establish WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine. 

The GCTM will focus on four main strategic areas: evidence and learning; data and analytics; sustainability and equity; and innovation and technology to optimise the contribution of traditional medicine to global health.

It may be noted here that some 40 percent of approved pharmaceutical products in use today derive from natural substances, highlighting the vital importance of conserving biodiversity and sustainability. For example, the discovery of aspirin drew on traditional medicine formulations using the bark of the willow tree, the contraceptive pill was developed from the roots of wild yam plants and child cancer treatments have been based on the rosy

Prime Minister Modi, who kickstarted his three-day tour of Gujarat on Monday took part in several programmes in Gandhinagar, Banaskantha and Dahod. Earlier in the day, he inaugurated a new dairy complex and a potato processing plant of the Banas Dairy in Banaskantha district. Addressing the gathering, he said, “Today, India is the world’s largest producer of milk as the country produces milk worth of Rs 8.5 lakh crore annually.”

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