More than 75 nations participate in the first-ever global Summit on Traditional Medicine

The first World Health Organization Global Summit on Traditional Medicine was inaugurated today at Gandhinagar, Gujarat alongside the G20 health ministerial meet. Director-General of WHO Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and the Union Minister of Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya were invited to light the ceremonial lamp to the accompaniment of auspicious hymns dedicated to Dhanvantari, the god of Ayurveda.

On his inaugural address Dr Tedros Adhanom said, “Traditional Medicine is as old as humanity itself. However, it is not a thing of the past. It has a growing relevance in communities and cultures even today.” Commending the Indian Government’s Ayushman Bharat Initiative, he praised the country’s medical system. Dr Tedros also noted the seamless integration of traditional medicine into primary healthcare in rural areas.

Addressing the gathering, Sarbananda Sonowal said that the outcome of the historic WHO Traditional Medicine Global Summit will help to propose recommendations for a dedicated forum within future G20 presidencies.  

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On this occasion, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, highlighted the significant contributions of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel in nation-building. He emphasized that with the WHO GCTM leading the way towards a more prominent role of traditional medicine in mainstream healthcare, India is well-positioned to become a knowledge hub and unlock the full potential of TM.  

Many visitors were drawn to the experiential Ayush Exhibition Zone which took place alongside an exhibition of traditional medicine systems from WHO’s six regions. The theme of the exhibition was ‘Ayush for Planetary Health and Well-being’ and is envisioned with showcasing the achievements of the Ministry of Ayush in areas of Education, Healthcare, Research and Public health. The Zone welcomed visitors with a display of medicinal plants including those used in Ayurveda. Chief Minister of Gujarat Bhupendra Rajnikant Patel, Union MoS for Ayush Dr Munjpara Mahendrabhai Kalubhai, and senior delegates of WHO were also present on this occassion.