Khanapara (Guwahati): In a major boost to the initiatives to promote traditional medicinal practices in the northeast, the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and AYUSH, Sarbananda Sonowal announced a slew of major initiatives planned to boost the traditional medicinal practices in the north-eastern states of India at the conference held here today.

The Union Minister announced that as many as 1000 new Health & Wellness Centres (HWC), as part of the National Ayush Mission (NAM) Scheme, will be opened in the Northeastern states for the growth and development of Ayush systems. The aim of these centres is to provide a holistic wellness model based on principles of Ayush systems of medicine. A total of 12,500 HWCs are to be operationalised in the country. To boost the popularity of traditional medicines provided by Ayush, the minister announced the setting up of 100 Ayush dispensaries under NAM in the northeast region. 

The conference of AYUSH and Health Ministers of Northeastern states for the promotion of Ayush systems was attended by the Chief Minister of Assam, Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, as the Chief Guest. The Union Minister of State for AYUSH and Women & Child Development, Dr Munjpara Mahendrabhai Kalubhai, Health Ministers of Assam, Nagaland and Sikkim along with senior officials of northeastern states as well as industry leaders were present at the conference. 

The conference of AYUSH and Health Ministers of Northeastern states

In order to boost the education and training of Ayush medicinal experts, financial provision of Rs 70 crore, under NAM support, is to be provided for the establishment of a new Ayurvedic College at Dudhnoi in Goalpara, announced the Union Minister while addressing the media. The Ministry of Ayush has decided to upgrade the Government Ayurvedic College in Guwahati and develop it as a Centre of Excellence. A sum of Rs 10 crore as a financial grant is to be provided in this regard. All states of the Northeast were requested to put up specific proposals to the ministry to open new Ayush educational institutions. 

A facilitation Centre for Semi Processing of raw material is going to be opened up in the Northeast. Along with this, it is also envisaged to set up Regional Raw Drug Repository (RRDR) in Northeastern states in collaboration with the National Institute of Bio-resources and sustainable development in Imphal, Manipur under the Department of Bio-Technology. This is under the National Medicinal Plants board Ministry of Ayush is implementing the Central Sector Scheme on Conservation, Development and Sustainable Management of Medicinal Plants. This Scheme has provision to support joint forest management committees (JFMCs) for value addition, drying, warehousing and augmenting marketing infrastructure.

Also read | Centre working hard to make NE growth engine of country: Sonowal

The Ayush medical facilities under northeastern State governments, central government and teaching hospitals in Ayush Colleges will be brought under AHMIS so as to develop a digital database of Ayush interventions in various disease management. The Ayush-Health Management Information System (AHMIS) is a comprehensive IT platform to effectively manage all functions of health care delivery systems and patient care in Ayush facilities. It is developed with an aim to improve patient care, work efficiency, effective management and scientific documentation and research of Ayush. 

The strategic policy & facilitation bureau at Invest India under the aegis of the Ministry of Ayush will coordinate with and encourage potential investors to invest in Ayush and wellness centres in NE states including manufacturing and services. Medical value travel promotion in NE states will be a priority area for the team.

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