The Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine (GCTM) in Jamnagar today, in the presence of the Prime Minister of Mauritius Mr. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth and Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO). GCTM will be the first and only global outpost centre for traditional medicine across the world. It will emerge as an international hub of global wellness. Video messages from the Prime Ministers of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and President of Maldives were played on the occasion. Union Ministers Dr Mansukh Mandavia, Shri Sabananda Sonowal, Shri Munjapara Mahendrabhai and Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Bhupendrabhai Patel were among those present.
Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO) thanked the Prime Minister Modi for his leadership in providing all the support for the establishment of WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine in Jamnagar. The DG termed the centre as a truly global project as 107 WHO member countries have their country specific governmental offices which means the world will come to India for its leadership in the traditional medicine. He said traditional medicines products are abound globally and the centre will go a long way in bringing the promise of the traditional medicine to fruition. For many regions of the world traditional medicine is the first line of treatment. The New Centre will focus on data, innovation and sustainability and will optimize the use of traditional medicine, he added. The centres five main areas will be research and leadership, evidence and learning, data and analytics, sustainability and equity and innovation and technology, said Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus.
The Prime Minister of Mauritius Mr. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth also thanked the Prime Minister for associating Mauritius with the occasion. He highlighted the importance of indigenous medical system and herbal products in various cultures. He said that there could not have been more opportune time than now for establishment the centre. He underlined the personal contribution of the Prime Minister Modi in taking leadership in establishment of the Centre. “We are extremely grateful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji, Government of India and the Indian people for this generous contribution”, said Mr. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth. He also gave details of legislative recognition to Ayurveda in Mauritius since 1989. He also thanked Gujarat for providing scholarship to students from Mauritius for studying Ayurvedic medicine in Jamnagar.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister thanked Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus for his kind words. The Prime Minister noted Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus’s connect with India and his personal involvement in the project of WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine (GCTM) he said that his affection has manifested in the shape of the WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine. The Prime Minister assured the DG that his expectations from India will be met.
The Prime Minister also highlighted the three-decade long association with The Prime Minister of Mauritius Mr. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth and his family and thanked him for his words and presence. Shri Modi also thanked the leaders whose video messages were played.
The Prime Minister said “The WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine is a recognition of India’s contribution and potential in this field”. He further declared “India takes this partnership as a huge responsibility for serving the entire humanity.”
Expressing happiness on the venue of the WHO Center, The Prime Minister said “Jamnagar’s contributions towards wellness will get a global identity with WHO’s Global Centre for Traditional Medicine.” Shri Modi said that more than five decades ago the world’s first Ayurvedic University was established in Jamnagar. The city has a quality Ayurvedic institute in Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda.
The Prime Minister emphasized that our ultimate goal should be of attaining wellness. He said while staying disease-free may be an important part of the life but ultimate goal has to be wellness. Importance of wellness, said the Prime Minister, was keenly felt during the pandemic period. “The world is looking for new dimension of health care delivery today. I am happy that by giving the slogan ‘One planet our health’ WHO has promoted the Indian vision of ‘One Earth, One Health’.
The Prime Minister said “India’s traditional medicine system is not limited to treatment. It is a holistic science of life.” Ayurveda goes beyond just healing and treatment, said Shri Modi and elaborated that in Ayurveda, apart from healing and treatment; social health, mental health-happiness, environmental health, sympathy, compassion and productivity are included. “Ayurveda is taken as the knowledge of life and it has been deemed as fifth Veda”, Shri Modi said. Good health is directly related to a balanced diet, said the Prime Minister. He explained that our ancestors considered diet as half of the treatment and our medical systems are replete with dietary advice. The Prime Minister said that it is a matter of immense pride for India that 2023 has been chosen as the International Year of Millets by the United Nations. He said that this step will prove to be beneficial for the humanity.
The Prime Minister noted the rising demand for Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani formulations globally as many countries are stressing upon the traditional medicine for dealing with the pandemic. Similarly, Yoga is gaining popularity across the world. Shri Modi pointed out that Yoga is proving immensely useful in fighting diseases like diabetes, obesity and depression. Yoga is also helping people in reducing mental tension and finding balance in mind-body and consciousness.
The Prime Minister laid down five goals for the new Center. First, to create a database of traditional knowledge system using technology; second, GCTM can create international standards for testing and certification of traditional medicines so that confidence in these medicines improves. Third, GCTM should evolve as a platform where global experts of traditional medicines come together and share experiences. He also asked the centre to explore the possibility of an annual traditional medicine festival. Fourth, GCTM should mobilize funding for research in the field of traditional medicines. Finally, GCTM should develop protocols for holistic treatment of specific diseases so that patients could benefit from both traditional and modern medicine.
Shri Modi invoked the Indian concept of ‘Vasudhaiv Kutumbkam’ and prayed for whole world to always remain healthy. He said that with establishment of WHO-GCTM, this tradition will get further enriched.