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Traditional medicine system needs to change with changing times: WHO Chief Scientist


Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist at the World Health Organization, stated on Thursday that traditional medicine systems play a vital role in promoting well-being and good healthcare. She emphasised that research in this area must be agile and responsive to changing requirements.

Dr Swaminathan shared her insights during the Global Ayush Investment and Innovation Summit in Gandhinagar, reported The Indian Express. Giving an example of her tenure as Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research, she said, “We had set up a good relationship with the Ayush Ministry to undertake clinical trials for the treatment of dengue.” She then talked about the need for “multi-institutional research” and partnerships with academia and health systems.

The scientist also emphasised the significance of boosting good research in the biotech and industrial sectors so that it can be translated into public health initiatives. “Five pillars that we need to build on our resources, data, collaborations, well-defined methodologies, and policy supporting innovation and entrepreneurship,” she encouraged, per The Indian Express.

It will be critical to consider creative trial designs for research studies, according to the scientist, who cited acupuncture as an example of how committed study can lead to the adoption of traditional medicine techniques.

Dr. Bhushan Patwardhan, Ayush head, told The Indian Express that combining traditional medicines with modern science can pave the path for better healthcare.

Dr Patwardhan, who is a Professor of Health Sciences, biomedical scientist, and ethnopharmacologist, said that the partnership between WHO and the government of India was very important. He stated that many countries should come together for a common good so that the new methodology for evidence-based integrated medicine can progress rapidly. “We will create a consortium where countries working on various aspects of traditional medicine can come together and innovate,” he noted, adding equity for healthcare is another focus.



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