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WHO and India’s Ministry of Ayush to host first-ever global summit on traditional medicine

The highly anticipated event is set to take place on 17th-18th August at Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

A first-of-its-kind global summit on Traditional Medicine, organised by the World Health Organization (WHO) and co-hosted by the Ministry of Ayush, will be held on August 17-18 at Gandhinagar in Gujarat.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, will inaugurate the event in the presence of Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and Minister of Ayush Sarbananda Sonowal. G20 health ministers, regional directors of WHO and eminent invitees from countries across WHO’s six regions are expected to attend the event along with scientists, practitioners of traditional medicine, health workers and members of civil society organisations, Union Minister of State for Ayush, Dr Munjpara Mahendrabhai Kalubhai, said at a press conference in Delhi today.

Dr Munjpara stated that the summit’s outcome will be a declaration, which will assist WHO in shaping the future of WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine.

The summit will take into account India’s vast experience and expertise and the event will serve as a platform for experts and practitioners to delve into the latest scientific advancements and evidence-based knowledge in the sector, with the ultimate goal of ensuring health and well-being for all,

“It is very natural that after the foundation laying ceremony of the Global Centre for Traditional Medicine in Jamnagar last year, we are going to witness this first global event in India. It testifies to the multi-dimensional strides taken by various traditional medicine systems of our country in the recent past,” the minister said.

“By blending traditional practices with contemporary practices aided by visionary policies and digital initiatives, India has demonstrated a path for achieving universal health coverage (UHC) through traditional medicine systems,” he added.

An array of distinguished speakers will be spearheading discussions on key focus areas, namely research, evidence and learning; policy, data and regulation; innovation and digital health; and biodiversity, equity and traditional healthcare knowledge.

Another added milestone will be the exhibition of Traditional systems of medicine from across the globe and the Ministry of Ayush. This exhibition serves as a comprehensive display of Traditional Medicine worldwide and will showcase the interconnectedness of Traditional Medicine with the natural environment in the form of ‘Kalpavriksha’, along with scientific and technological advancements spearheaded by various regional centres of WHO and the Ministry of Ayush.

In a detailed presentation, the Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Ayush, Rahul Sharma, laid down the salient features of the event and the exhibition by WHO regional Centres and the Ayush exhibition zone, which has the theme, ‘Ayush for Planetary Health & Wellbeing’, This exhibition will display WHO regional centres’ prowess apart from highlighting Ayush’s efficacy and rich biodiversity of medicinal plants. Some very interesting experiential and interactive kiosks will also be there.

The ministry will also be organising yoga and meditation sessions at the Convention Centre.

In 2022, WHO, with the support of the Government of India, established the Global Centre for Traditional Medicine. Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of WHO-GCTM last year in the presence of WHO chief Tedros Ghebreyesus. The centre is a collaborative project of the Ministry of Ayush of India and the WHO and is the first and only global outpost for traditional medicine across the globe.