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Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal calls for strengthening Ayush programmes on ‘Ayurvidya’, ‘Supraja’, ‘Vayomitra’ to enhance the quality of life of people

Chennai, 5th September, 2023: The Regional Review meeting of National Ayush Mission was ceremonially inaugurated by the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal along with the Union Minister of State for Ayush & Women and Child Development, Dr Munjpara Mahendrabhai Kalubhai; Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Govt of Tamil Nadu, Thiru Ma Subramanian; Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Govt of Karnataka, Dinesh Gundu Rao; Secretary, Ministry of Ayush, Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha among other senior officials from governments of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala & Tamil Nadu, UT of Puducherry, UT of Lakshadweep and Ministry of Ayush, Govt of India.

During the meeting, all the participating states & union territories presented detailed presentations on the state of Ayush and progress of leading Ayush programmes under implementation.

Speaking on the occasion, the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal said, “Today, we had a very fruitful discussion on Ayush and how the traditional system of medicine can be promoted further towards realising a Swastha Bharat – the vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. Our rich heritage and potential of traditional form of medicine has withstood the test of time in generations of humanity to live a better, healthier and happier life. We must take full advantage of this generous forms of medicine – be it Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, Yoga, Naturopathy, Sowa Rigpa, or Homoeopathy. Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji, we have been working towards scientifically integrate traditional forms of medicine with the modern medicine. This will not only help people heal from ailments but also empower to stay healthy to enjoy a better quality of lives. Modi ji has not only encouraged the use of traditional medicine in India but has also led a global movement to invest, innovate and integrate traditional medicine with modern medicine to develop a holistic line of healthcare solutions. In this spirit, I would like to call all the southern states to explore the possibility of setting up an Integrated Ayush Department in all its leading state hospitals, in line with the setting up of similar departments in all 19 AIIMS, under the guidance of Modi ji. We must do everything possible to invest, innovate, & integrate traditional system of medicine for enhancing the quality of life of the people.”

Highlighting the utility of Ayush system of medicine, the Union Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal further said, “Ayush has some robust programmes like Ayurvidya for promotion of healthy lifestyle through Ayush for school children; Supraja:Ayush for Maternal & Neonatal intervention; Vayomitra which is Ayush based geriatric programme; Prevention and management of Osteoarthritis and other Musculoskeletal disorders, Ayush Mobile Medical units etc. will strengthen the Ayush systems. Our beautiful state of Tamil Nadu with its rich heritage also contributes strongly to the ever growing popularity of Ayush through Siddha. We believe Siddha has more to offer to make humanity healthier and happier. We must work towards promotion of Siddha, not just in & around the periphery of Tamil Nadu but whole of India so that more and more people can avail the wonderful benefits of Siddha to lead a better, healthier and happier life.”

The Union Cabinet has approved for operationalised of 12,500 Ayush Health and Wellness Centres (AHWCs) by the Ministry of Ayush through State/UT Governments as a component of NAM by the year 2023-24. The main objectives are to establish holistic wellness model based on Ayush principles and practices, to empower masses for “self- care” to reduce the disease burden, out of pocket expenditure and to provide informed choice to the needy public. Ministry of Ayush has so far released Rs. 719.70 crores to southern states/UTs (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and Telangana) under NAM since 2014-15. Ministry has also supported 17 Integrated Ayush hospitals in Southern States and out of that 06 are operational as reported by them. Out of 12,500 AHWCs, Ministry has already supported 2181 AHWCs in Southern States/UTs and out of that 1518 are reported functional by the them.

Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister of State for Ayush and Women & Child Development, Dr Mahendrabhai Munjapara said, “I believe we have to emphasize outcomes as a more meaningful measure of programme value than output. We may have to realign our strategies and techniques to plan, execute and report our performance that facilitates measure of outcomes. I am confident that discussions today will give us an opportunity to learn from each other best practices and building a strong bonding among all of us. With the active participation of States, it is expected to ensure better access to Ayush healthcare services, better availability of medicines & trained manpower, improvement in Ayush education through a well-equipped and added number of Ayush Educational Institutions, reduction in communicable/non-communicable diseases through targeted Public Health Programmes using the strengths of Ayush systems of medicine.”

Till 2022-23, 315 Ayush Hospitals and 5,023 Ayush dispensaries have been supported for Up-gradation of infrastructure and other facilities. Financial Assistance has also been provided for 13 New Ayush Educational Institutions and 77 Under-Graduate and 35 Post-Graduate Ayush Educational Institutes have been supported for upgradation of infrastructure, Library and other things.

Under NAM, Ministry is providing support to the States/UTs including Southern States/UTs for Co-location of Ayush facilities in Primary Health Centres (PHCs), Community Health Centres (CHCs) and District Hospitals (DHs), setting up of Integrated Ayush hospitals, new Ayush Dispensaries, operationalisation of Ayush Health & Wellness Centres by upgrading the existing Ayush Dispensaries and Sub-Centres, upgradation of UG & PG Ayush Education Institutes, so that the people may be able to avail the services from more Ayush healthcare facilities. Ministry of Ayush is supporting the efforts of State/UT Governments for implementation of different activities as proposed by them through their respective State Annual Action Plans (SAAPs) under Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National Ayush Mission (NAM). NAM is being implemented with the vision and objectives to provide Ayush health care services throughout the country by strengthening and improving Ayush health care facilities, to provide informed choice to the needy public. Under NAM, Ministry has also supported 02 New Ayush Educational Institutes in Karnataka and 01 Ayush Educational Institute each in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and out of that 02 in Karnataka are functional. Till the year 2022-23, 137 Integrated Ayush Hospitals have been supported and out of that 37 are functional, 86 are under Construction and 14 in process. More than 8.42 crores people got benefitted through Ayush system of medicine through AHWC in 2022.

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