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August 17, 2023 9:35 AM IST

India & WHO co-hosting first Traditional Medicine Global Summit

Health | G20 | WHO | Traditional Medicine Global Summit | Ayush | Medicines

The first WHO Traditional Medicine Global Summit is taking place on August 17 and 18, 2023, in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. This significant event coincides with the G20 health ministerial meeting, aiming to generate both political commitment and evidence-driven initiatives regarding traditional medicine.

The Global Summit is co-hosted by World Health Organization and India and serves as a collaborative platform. It brings together diverse stakeholders, including practitioners, users, communities, national policymakers, international institutions, scholars, businesses, and civil society groups.

The event’s focal point will be the exchange of exemplary practices and transformative evidence, data, and innovations highlighting the role of traditional medicine in promoting health and sustainable development.

On August 16, a pre-event press conference for the upcoming summit was jointly hosted by Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, Ministry of Ayush (MoA) and Lav Agarwal, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health, in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, At the event, Secretary Kotecha lauded the efforts of the government and the WHO in organising the biggest event on Traditional Medicine (TM). He informed that the Summit is expected to be graced by the health minister of 29 countries, with participants from over 90 countries.

Speaking about one of the key highlights of the summit, Ayush Secretary said, “A special exhibition will also be the center of attraction in the traditional medicine global summit. This fully digital exhibition will showcase the practices of traditional medicine prevalent all over the world.” He further urged, “The Ayush Exhibition Zone is not to be missed. It promises to be an immersive experience with innovative and interactive kiosks.”

The Secretary also announced that the introduction of Ayush visas will make Indian traditional medicine systems more accessible to the world and will herald a new era in universal healthcare. Ayush Secretary Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha said, “Scientists, medical experts and civil society people from the country and the world will discuss important aspects of traditional medicine. Special yoga sessions will also be held at the conference.”

Addressing the pre-event, Additional Secretary Lav Agarwal praised India’s contribution to the world’s well-being. He brought to attention the many Yoga centres that have come up in the far-flung regions, enhancing their healthcare. He added that India’s approach is holistic healthcare through modern and Ayush medicine.

Ahead of the Global Summit, WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus received a warm welcome upon his arrival in Gujarat and was greeted with vibrant beats of Gujarati folk music. “Delighted to be in India for the @WHO Traditional Medicine Global Summit, the Ministerial Meeting on Ending TB in @WHOSEARO and the G20 Health Ministers Meeting. Namaste India!,” Tedros said sharing a post on X.

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