Gujarat to get WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine
An agreement has been signed on Friday between Government of India and the World Health Organization (WHO) to establish WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine in Gujarat’s Jamnagar city. The centre will be built through support of an investment of USD 250 million from the Government of India. The centre to built in Gujarat is aimed to develop a “strong evidence base for policies and standards on traditional medical practices and products”.
The four main strategic areas that will be the focus points of new centre are – evidence and learning, data and analytics, sustainability and equity, and innovation and technology.
It is estimated that 80 per cent of global population use traditional medicine. Out of 194 WHO member nations, 170 have reported use of the traditional medicine. These governments have also asked help of WHO in creating a reliable body of evidence and data on these practices and products.
“It is heartening to learn about the signing of the Host Country Agreement for the establishment of the Global Centre for Traditional Medicine. The agreement…to establish the WHO-GCTM at Jamnagar, Gujarat, is a commendable initiative. Through various initiatives, our government has been tireless in its endeavour to make preventive and curative healthcare, affordable and accessible to all. May the global centre at Jamnagar help in providing the best healthcare solutions to the world,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Approximately 40 per cent of pharmaceutical products that are approved currently for use are derived from natural products and substances. For instance, aspirin discovery was based on traditional medicine formulations using willow tree bark.
“For many millions of people around the world, traditional medicine is the first port of call to treat many diseases. Ensuring all people have access to safe and effective treatment is an essential part of WHO’s mission, and this new centre will help to harness the power of science to strengthen the evidence base for traditional medicine. I’m grateful to the Government of India for its support, and we look forward to making it a success,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
The Gujarat centre would be the first and at present the only global outposted Centre (office) for traditional medicine. The announcement of centre development was done by the WHO on Friday night. The Centre is scheduled to open officially on 21 April 2022.