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Reason the Centre for Integrative Medicine and Research at AIIMS is a boon

The CIMR is the first of its kind institute in the country that combines research, education and healthcare delivery. It promises to be the converging centre where clinicians from the various disciplines of contemporary medicine will collaborate with Yoga and Ayurveda specialists to provide the best treatment to patients
All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi

Evidence through research has demonstrated that traditional practices of India like Yoga and Ayurveda are effective in preventing and controlling several diseases.

This was stated by Dr H.R. Nagendra, Chancellor, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhan Sansthan, at the inauguration of the Centre for Integrative Medicine and Research (CIMR) at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi.

The CIMR is the first of its kind institute in the country that combines research, education and healthcare delivery. It promises to be the converging centre where clinicians from the various disciplines of contemporary medicine will collaborate with Yoga and Ayurveda specialists to provide the best treatment to patients. “This will help to rationally translate the thousands of years old science into a scientific practice that can be used for the wellbeing of the human kind,” said Dr Nagendra.

Congratulating the AIIMS-New Delhi and S-VYASA for coming with this unique centre, Union Health Minister J P Nadda said that by combining contemporary medicine and our traditional systems, the goal of universal well being can be achieved which is far greater than merely seeking cure of diseases.

“The Center will seek scientific validation of our ancient medicine systems with a focus on Yoga. It has been designed as a perfect platform for rigorous research to establish the efficacy of our traditional methods of healing, which in turn should pave the way for their greater international scientific acceptability,” said the Minister. “Such studies are already underway in foreign universities, and AIIMS is now attempting to drive this effort in India through the establishment of the CIMR,” he added.

Nadda further added that this step shall witness an integrated approach to healthcare, where the focus shifts from treatment to well being and prevention of diseases. The Centre will provide a potent platform for integrating the contemporary allopathy with the benefits of traditional knowledge in healthcare such a Yoga and Ayurveda.

The Health Minister further added that the Government has placed a significant emphasis on Yoga and traditional systems of medicine and the establishment of the integrative centre is a major step forward in the Government’s efforts to promotion of Yoga as an integrative discipline. “The adoption of June 21st as International Yoga Day by the United Nations has brought Yoga to the forefront of the collective world consciousness,” the Union Health Minister said.

Meanwhile, speaking at the inauguration of National Conference on stated that Prevention of disease will always remain in the forefront, whether for Communicable or Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), and awareness regarding a balanced lifestyle and healthy living is a crucial pillar in combating non-communicable diseases.

He said that as most of the major NCDs, generally labeled as ‘lifestyle diseases’ are acquired, there is an urgent need for paying attention to their preventive aspects. Social behaviour change plays a major role in preventing the NCDs.

Emphasising on the need for creating wide awareness among the people regarding healthy living, the Health Minister also launched a media campaign on NCDs that shall leverage on different media forms. The media campaign will work towards educating people about preventive measures and benefits of exercise, healthy eating and a balanced lifestyle. The Minister also launched special training manuals for different levels of health workers who are engaged in NCD prevention and control. A survey of risk factors for NCDs was also launched to generate prospective national level estimate.

The Minister said that Yoga and knowledge in AYUSH system of medicine can be of great help in not only preventing but also controlling non-communicable diseases. Stating that traditional system of medicines can complement modern medicine, the Health Minister said that Yoga is not only physical activity but also a complete science of living. “Yoga as an intervention is being encouraged as an integral part of NCD prevention and management,” he added.

Nadda also kick-started some other key initiatives to promote preventive care to check the rising cases of NCDs like cancer, diabetes and mental disorders in the country. These include detailed guidelines for screening of diseases like cancer, diabetes and hypertension.

According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) assessment, an estimated 60 % of all deaths in India are due to non-communicable diseases. Cardiovascular diseases alone account for 26% of the total mortality, while chronic respiratory diseases lead to 13 % of deaths. Cancer and diabetes, incidences of which are rapidly increasing in India, accounted for 7 % and 2 % of mortality respectively in 2014.

Besides, depression and schizophrenia also contribute heavily to NCD burden. Estimates suggest that over 20 million or two crore Indians suffer from mental health conditions in the country. Nadda said there is an urgent need for paying attention to the “preventive aspects” of NCDs.

Recommending Yoga as an integral intervention for prevention and management of these diseases, he said yoga and knowledge in AYUSH system of medicine can be of great help in not only preventing but also controlling non-communicable diseases. “There is a need to create awareness among people regarding healthy living,” he remarked.

The Health Minister also aunched the M-Diabetes initiative which harnesses the power and potential of the vast mobile telephony network. With a missed call to 011-22901701 the caller can get more information on Diabetes and how to prevent and manage it. One can also log on to www.mdiabetes.nhp.gov.in for more information.

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