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BRICS countries chart new path to develop potential of traditional medicine and scout for collaboration

Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

BRICS countries are now charting a new path to develop the potential of traditional medicine research and development. The countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are looking for increased collaboration to resolve ensuing challenges on the export arena.
The way forward for Indian systems of medicine (Ayush) is to uphold patents in traditional knowledge on similar lines that of neem and turmeric. “We are trying to bring in modern technology to associate it with traditional medicine systems and enable IP. It is also high time for the BRICS economies to take cognisance on the wellness of its population in their domestic development strategies, said Prof. Sachin Chaturvedi, Director General, Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), a New Delhi-based autonomous think-tank.
Prof. Chaturvedi who was in Bengaluru said BRICS governments need to take on the responsibility to protect the environment and ecological balance. This region brings together five major emerging economies comprising 43 per cent of the world population, having 37 per cent of the world GDP and 17 per cent share in the world trade. The encouraging fact in the context of these five countries is their cumulative wealth of traditional knowledge.
“With reference to the issue of well being, each country has novel idea. We hope the policy makers and researchers from BRICS would find it relevant to consider the idea of BRICS Wellness Index,” he noted.
Now the Index proposes a new framework for the measurement in BRICS not only to guide the policy making but also to gather momentum for integrated approaches to development, said Prof. Chaturvedi.
Brazil has developed a dynamic complex health systems. In the case of Russia, it views traditional systems of medicine as evidence based system of therapeutic approach. The Moscow Institute of Paediatrics and Paediatrics Surgery of the Health Ministry of Russia use Ayurveda for cerebral palsy, bronchial asthma and gastroenterology. China’s new round of medical and health reform aims at providing its people with safe, effective, convenient and affordable solutions. In South Africa, traditional medicine system is a preferred form of healthcare and also remains the most available and affordable form of therapy across the world.
BRICS countries need to develop a common legal regulation and establishment of therapeutic, educational and pharmaceutical standards, including rules for traditional medicine system experts. The need of the hour is to ensure training of traditional medicine practitioners for the safe use of remedies in improving the health of these countries, he said.


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