With vector-borne diseases like dengue and malaria
surfacing again this season, the Union Ministry
of Health and Family Welfare has directed states
to use the expertise of the department of AYUSH
to check their spread. Dr.Harsh Vardhan, Union
Health Minister who has long been an advocate
of alternative medicine, is looking closely at
the potential for unconventional systems of medicines
in controlling vector-borne diseases. The ministry
has already issued advisories for prevention and
control of dengue, malaria and other vector-borne
diseases under the Directorate of National Vector-Borne
Diseases Control Programme (NVBDCP) to all states.
The minister recently said in Parliament that
states should use the expertise of AYUSH doctors
for malaria control programme.
Central Council for Research in Ayurveda, Homoeopathy,
Unani under Department of AYUSH has also patented
and commercialized an antimalarial drug AYUSH
64," said Dr Harsh Vardhan. According to
sources, AYUSH doctors will be trained on early
diagnosis and complete treatment and will be provided
with necessary diagnostic tools and anti-malarials
for treatment of uncomplicated malaria cases.
The government recently appointed 11,478 Ayush
doctors and 15,924 paramedics, including AYUSH
paramedics, on contract to fill in critical gaps
under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).
According to a
recent research by National Institute of Malaria
Research, published in the latest issue of Malaria
Journal, natural products isolated from plants
used in traditional medicine with potent anti-plasmodial
action (anti malarial) represent potential sources
of new anti-malarial drugs. "The main cause
of the worsening malaria situation in recent years
has been the spread of drug-resistant parasites.
This has led to rising malaria-associated mortality.
Anti-malarial drug resistance has emerged as one
of the greatest challenges facing malaria control
today," the study said. "The government
would ensure that traditional medicines, manufactured
in India under trademark of Ayurveda, Unani and
the like, would have to conform to the prescriptions
provided under the WHO," said Nilanjan Sanyal,
Secretary, Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health
and Family Welfare.
- The India