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QCI soon to certify 22 folk healers in Kerala as ‘not quacks’

Peethaambaran Kunanthoor, Chennai
Wednesday, December 15, 2021, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The Quality Council of India (QCI), the national accreditation body, will soon certify the knowledge and skill of 22 traditional folk healers or ‘grama vaidyas’ of Kannur district in Kerala in delivering therapeutic and healthcare services for different ailments are honest and authentic.

This voluntary certification gives the folk healers the recognition that they cannot be treated by anybody as ‘quacks’ or unskilled, but they are recognized as skilled traditional healers in their specialized streams of disease management. The grama vaidyas can now continue their traditional job of disease managements in the streams wherein they are certified and recognized.

Last month, QCI had conducted a three-day assessment and evaluation study of these folk healers in the rural areas of Kannur district through a third party quality assessment organisation, the Centre for Trade Testing and Certification of skilled workers (CTTC), based in Thiruvananthapuram. Among the 23 applications it received from various healers, 22 persons appeared for the assessment test and practicals which were carried out under the supervision of QCI experts from other states. In the assessments, it was found that all the participants are experts in their streams.

P Mohan Nair, CEO of the CTTC, told Pharmabiz that the healers have chosen their specialized area of treatments out of the six streams put to them. Traditional bone-setting, common ailments, jaundice, rheumatoid arthritis, poisonous bites and traditional birth-care were the streams of treatments CTTC had selected for assessment and evaluation. Since nobody was practicing in the area of traditional birth-care, all the 22 healers were put to various assessment studies including presentation of identification of diseases, case studies, preparation of drugs, managing diseases and skill evaluation. All of them showed their skill in the five streams of treatments.

Only one vaidya, Suresh Babu from Nangyarkulangara in Kayamkulam, could pass all the five streams.

Two vaidyas from Kannur, Govindan and Baburaj, passed in four streams and one person, Vaidya Ajesh A Ghosh from Eranakulam could pass in three respectively. All others have shown their skill in the area of their treatments.

In total, 10 rural healers have passed the assessment tests in arthritis, 11 passed in common ailments category and 15 vaidyars passed in bone-setting stream. However, CTTC could find only two healers as experts in managing poisonous bite.

The assessment was held in Kannur district under the supervision of the QCI expert, Dr Thirunarayanan from Chennai. The competence of the healers was assessed based on a set of criteria framed by the Quality Council of India.

Mohan Nair said, the next phase of assessment and evaluation will be held in Palakkadu district next month. The centre will forward the report to the QCI which will issue the certificates to the folk healers in a grand function arranged by CTTC with participation from Union Ayush Ministry officials and QCI officers.


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