WHO Releases Document On Gujarat Traditional Medicine Summit

New Delhi: The World Health Organization (WHO) has released the outcome document of the first WHO Traditional Medicine Global Summit 2023 in the form of the ‘Gujarat Declaration.’ The declaration reaffirmed global commitments towards indigenous knowledge, biodiversity, and traditional, complementary, and integrative medicine, an Ayush ministry statement said. 

The WHO underlined that the application of rigorous scientific methods is needed to better understand, assess, and where appropriate, apply more holistic, context-specific, complex, and personalized approaches for health and well-being for all.

The body in the statement reiterated that India as host of the WHO Global Traditional Medicine Centre in Jamnagar, Gujarat has an important role in scaling up WHO’s capacities to support member states and stakeholders in taking forward the summit action agenda and other relevant priorities.

The action points of the two-day WHO Traditional Medicine Global Summit 2023 held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat are based on the evidence, discussions, and outcomes presented at the Summit, the statement said.

Deliberations were done on varied topics like health and well-being of people and the planet, research and evidence, universal health coverage, primary health care and health systems, data and routine information systems, digital health frontiers, biodiversity and sustainability, human rights, equity and ethics, the statement said.

Union Ayush Minister Sarbananda Sonowal at the summit said, “Gujarat declaration is testimony of our prime minister Shri Narendra Modi’s commitment to promote our ancient knowledge of traditional medicine system. Through collaborative efforts and sustainable practices, we can ensure a healthier future for generations to come.”

WHO Director Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, during the summit, had said that ‘Gujarat Declaration’ will serve as a catalyst in harnessing the potential of traditional medicine through the lens of science and will focus on the integration of traditional medicines in national health systems.

The Gujarat declaration talks about scaling up efforts to further implement evidence-based TCIM (Traditional Complimentary Integrative Medicine) interventions and approaches in support of the goal of universal health coverage and all health-related sustainable development goals.

The highlight of the summit was how to enable the development and application of digital health technologies, and artificial intelligence (AI) in particular, to advance digital health resources on TCIM for people’s health and well-being, the statement said. The summit advocates fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of biodiversity resources, related genetic material, and indigenous knowledge.

Fully recognize, respect, and protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples, as provided in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Incorporate ethical methods and processes in TCIM research and practice.

The First global summit on Traditional Medicine was organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and co-hosted by the Ministry of Ayush, from August 17-18, 2023, in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

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