TOPICS: Ayurveda woes

Ayurveda is an ancient Vedic rooted medicine system. Treatment in Ayurveda comprises of herbal medications, changes in diet and lifestyle and unique methods such as yoga, pancha-karma, kshar-sutra and several others.

Reports suggest more than 80 per cent of the Nepali population use Ayurveda as their first line of treatment. There are two Ayurveda constituent campuses each from Tribhuvan University and Nepal Sanskrit University conferring courses like Bachelor of Ayurveda Medicine and Surgery.

The former campus also provides postgraduate degree in Ayurveda Internal Medicine.

A national level research and training institution has been established in the Kathmandu Valley. Government owned Singha Durbar Vaidyakhana produces and sells more than 140 types of medicines worth not less than Rs 25 million every year.

The government allocates adequate amount of total health budget in the field of Ayurveda. Every year, the Public Service Commission calls for significant numbers of Ayurvedic doctors and professionals to fill the posts in the hospitals.

Millions of patients across the country visited Ayurveda hospitals and health camps last year. In Nepal, the production of Ayurvedic medicines depends upon locally available herbs.

More than 7,000 species of agriculture and forest-based flora are available in our country out of which 700 have been identified as having medicinal properties.

The identification of the medicinal uses can be carried out with the help of local shepherds, forest dwellers and local indigenous people because they know the proper use of plants by their name and characters.

A pilot study is required to first study the medicinal properties of reported plant species of the country so as to stop the exploitation, illegal trafficking and extinction of the species.

The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) should develop standard guidelines and protocols for Ayurvedic treatment of different diseases.

This is another urgent need to make this medicine system more popular, transparent, and free it from such rampant malpractices. Any actions of quackery and cheating must be halted by the law enforcing authorities.

There are other new challenges being discovered for Ayurveda fraternity. How Ayurvedic doctors will build the bridges between Ayurveda and modern science is a matter of new discussion.

However, let’s first wish for basic changes and improvement within the sector itself.