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WHO To Hold First-Of-Its-Kind Global Summit On Traditional Medicines In Gujarat On Aug 17-18

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The World Health Organization (WHO) will organise a first-of-its-kind global summit on traditional medicines in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar on August 17-18, which will serve as a platform for experts to delve into the latest scientific advancements and evidence-based knowledge in the sector with the ultimate goal being health for all. The summit set to take place at the Mahatma Mandir Convention Centre in Gandhinagar is co-hosted by the Ministry of Ayush. WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will inaugurate the event in the presence of Minister of Health Mansukh Mandaviya and Minister of Ayush Sarbananda Sonowal, as per an official release.

The Ministry of Ayush stated that “G20 health Ministers, Regional Directors of WHO and eminent invitees from countries across WHO’s six regions are expected to grace the event along with scientists, practitioners of traditional medicine, health workers and members of civil society organisations.”

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Addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Sunday, Union Minister of State for Ayush Dr Munjpara Mahendrabhai Kalubhai said that the summit’s outcome will be a declaration which will assist WHO in shaping the future of the WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine.

“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,” Dr Kalubhai 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.

Manoj Jhalani, Director of the Department of Health Systems Development (WHO South East Asia Regional Centre), informed that the summit is expected to develop a roadmap for a more holistic and healthier world in the interest of future generations by acknowledging the interconnectedness between human health, planetary harmony, and technological advancement.

“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,” the Ministry of Ayush informed in its statement.

A noteworthy aspect of the convention 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,” the statement mentioned

Yoga and meditation sessions will also be organised at the Convention Centre. “There also will be yoga and meditation sessions at hotel venues, as well as short Yoga breaks at Mahatma Mandir Convention Centre between sessions,” the release informed.

In 2022, WHO, with the support of the Indian Government, established the Global Centre for Traditional Medicine and Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of WHO-GCTM in the presence of WHO DG Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

As per the government, the WHO-GCTM is a collaborative project of India’s Ministry of Ayush and the WHO, being the first and only global outpost for traditional medicine across the globe. 

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