Sri Lanka

Centre for Traditional Medicines and Research has new plans to strengthen Siddha

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As part of promoting and developing the traditional Siddha treatment system worldwide, especially among the Tamil diaspora, the Chennai-based Centre for Traditional Medicines and Research (CTMR) has made scores of proposals to the Sri Lankan government on Siddha system of treatment as part of implementing various health projects in the northern Tamil Province of the island nation.

The Minister for Health for Northern Province, Dr. P. Sathyalingam had recently invited the director of CTMR Dr. T. Thirunarayanan to Sri Lanka to explain in detail the proposals he made to the Lankan government to strengthen the system there. The proposal sought support from the Indian government as well as the state government of Tamil Nadu. In the meeting, he discussed with various health officials, medical officers and hospital authorities who are following the traditional system of treatment there.

While sharing details about his visit to Sri Lanka, Dr Thirunarayanan said manufacture and supply of traditional drugs, especially Siddha medicines, is always a difficult problem there, and there occurs a long gap in the supply system. The quantum of medicines manufactured is very less and often inadequate to cater to the needs of the patients.

In a proposal to develop production and marketing of Siddha drugs, CTMR has suggested that maintenance of quality standard is of prime importance, and for that there should be a testing methodology which should be followed in the analytical process. A well equipped laboratory is essential to address issues like adulteration, misbranding, spurious, not-of-standard quality, etc. Besides, government should ensure availability of good raw materials.

To increase the availability of Siddha medicine in the island country, Dr. Thirunarayanan made a major suggestion that a government owned manufacturing unit with state-of-the-art facilities should be set up. The facilities should be in compliance with WHO-GMP standards. For the availability of raw drugs including herbs, medicinal plants, the government was advised to encourage founding herbal gardens at schools, colleges, homes, public parks, etc and planting of medicinal saplings as much as possible everywhere involving NGOs.

Further, he suggested to digitize the palm leaf manuscripts of Siddha available with traditional healers there and also with the libraries. CTMR will give training in the digitization of palm leaves. He said the government of Sri Lanka can approach the ministry of Ayush in India through ministry of external affairs for financial assistance to train the graduates in Siddha and to conduct continuous medical education programmes and skill development schemes.

For strengthening the potential and skill of traditional medicine practitioners in Sri Lanka, he said the Siddha practitioners in the Northern Province have to undergone specialized training in various treatment methods of Siddha like Varmam, Thokkanam, Kayakalpam, Balar maruthuvam, skin diseases, non-communicable diseases and mental health.

Source : Pharmabiz

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