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Pride in India’s traditions like Yoga & Ayurveda

 To propagate the practice of Yoga digitally, the Ministry of Ayush has also launched ‘Namaste Yoga app’ (a one-stop health solution that enables people to access Yoga-related information

Indian systems of medicine are millennia old and offer overall wellness. Changes in the health paradigm has led to an unprecedented resurgence of interest in Ayush systems (namely Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Homoeopathy) over the years.

State patronage and encouragement to the pluralistic approach in health care have accelerated the progress of Ayush towards providing quality healthcare to all. While preserving its core strengths, Ayush with transdisciplinary and translational approaches is unravelling clinical evidence best endorsed by centuries of healing people.

Established in 2014, the Ministry of Ayush has amplified the role of Ayush in realizing the ‘New India’ vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister. It has undertaken various initiatives to develop education, research, and propagation of the Ayush systems of healthcare.

Prestigious international collaboration in important fields like Pharmacopoeia are indicative of the galloping acceptance of Indian traditional health systems and are sure to impact the Ayush sectors in ways more than one.

This is demonstrated by the MoU signed recently between PCIMH & American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP) and is expected to impact the prospects of Ayurvedic medicines’ scope in the USA in future as currently, ayurvedic products are treated as Food Supplements and not as Drugs in the USA.

One of these key initiatives includes Ayush’s role in the fight against COVID-19. The Ministry of Ayush has undertaken several Research & Development (R&D) and public healthcare initiatives to harness the potential of Ayush systems in mitigating the impact of the pandemic.

The government has issued various guidelines, advisories & launched campaigns such as ‘Ayush for Immunity’ to promote awareness regarding measures to improve immunity and advising simple home remedies easily accessible to the general public.

Ayush institutions like All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), New Delhi were made dedicated COVID Health Centre for management of COVID- 19 mild to moderate cases as per the AYUSH guidelines. The Ministry collaborated with several organizations to encourage, promote and advance evidence-based research on Ayush.

The Ministry constituted an inter-disciplinary Ayush R&D Task Force consisting of scientists, pulmonologists, epidemiologists, pharmacologists etc., from premier organizations including ICMR, DBT, CSIR, AIIMS and released “National Clinical Management Protocol based on Ayurveda and Yoga for management of COVID-19”.

Over 127 research studies in COVID-19 were initiated at 152 centers across the country. Out of these, a total of 90 studies have been completed, and 15 manuscripts have been published, while 20 preprints have also been published.

These studies have shown very promising outcomes in reducing the incidence of COVID among Ayush prophylactic care users. The Ministry launched a massive nationwide campaign for distribution of proven poly herbals AYUSH-64 and Kabasura Kudineer for the benefit of the vast majority of out of hospital COVID patients.

The ‘Ayuraksha kit’ containing ‘Kadha’ concoction (herbal tea), ‘Sanshmani’ tablet (made from Giloy) and Anu Taila for nasal application given to 80,000 Delhi Police frontline personnel for boosting immunity and increasing quality of life against COVID 19 showed just 48 percent of the force getting infected despite being vulnerable to the virus.

Further, Ayush Sanjivani mobile app developed by Ministry of Ayush has documented the impact assessment of effectiveness, acceptance and usage of Ayush advisories & measures in the prevention of COVID-19 in around 1.5 crores respondents highlighted that a good proportion of the representative population has utilized Ayush measures across different regions of the country.

The Ministry and World Health Organization have entered into the Technical Service agreement to undertake a study being executed in collaboration with Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) for assessment of integration of Ayush into the Public Health System for combating COVID-19.

The Ministry’s mobilization efforts during the pandemic have also resulted in a total of 8,32,445 Ayush practitioners, paramedic staff, and students enlisting themselves as COVID warriors on covidwarriors.gov.in.

Out of these, 1,75,603 Ayush doctors were trained through iGOT (Integrated Government Online Training) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Further, a force of over 37,000 Ayush staff was deployed for COVID-19 related healthcare services.

Due to large-scale sensitization and steps taken by the Ministry of Ayush towards mitigation of Covid over the past two years, the footprint of the Ayush industry has also increased, with the AYUSH sector witnessing 44% growth. 1 Ministry of Ayush has promoted use of ready-made formulation like Ayush Kwath/ Ayush Kudineer /Ayush Joshanda endeavoring health promotion of public at large.

Some specific products have also seen tremendous growth with 500 to 700 percent increase in demand post the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes immunity-boosting products such as Guduchi ghan Vati, Anu Taila, Mahasudarshan Ghan Vati, Tulsi, while Chyavanprash products have seen 700 percent of growth and Ashwagandha exports increasing three times than the previous periods.

These figures underline the wide recognition and public acceptance of Ayush systems among the masses.

It is also a matter of pride for all Indians that the World Health Organization has chosen India for establishing its Global Centre for Traditional Medicine.

To propagate the practice of Yoga digitally, the Ministry of Ayush has also launched ‘Namaste Yoga app’ (a one-stop health solution that enables people to access Yoga-related information, Yoga events, and Yoga classes at their fingertips).

In addition, the ‘Yoga break app’ (Yoga protocol consists of a few very useful Yoga practices to de-stress, refresh and refocus on work) was also launched recently. 

The views expressed by the author are personaL

Tags
  • Yoga
  • Ayurveda
  • Ministry of Ayush
  • Namaste Yoga app
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