NIIMH Hyderabad Designated as WHO Collaborating Centre for Traditional Medicine Research

OV Desk

Hyderabad, June 14, 2024 – The World Health Organization (WHO) has conferred a prestigious recognition on the National Institute of Indian Medical Heritage (NIIMH), Hyderabad, by designating it as a WHO Collaborating Centre (CC) for “Fundamental and Literary Research in Traditional Medicine” (CC IND-177). This designation, effective for four years starting June 3, 2024, places NIIMH at the forefront of global traditional medicine research.

Founded in 1956, NIIMH is a unique institution dedicated to documenting and showcasing medico-historical research in various healthcare disciplines, including Ayurveda, Yoga Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa, Homoeopathy, and Biomedicine. The institute operates under the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), Ministry of Ayush, and has been recognized for its significant contributions to traditional medicine under the leadership of Prof. Vaidya Rabinarayan Acharya, Director General of CCRAS.

“This designation by WHO is a significant milestone, reflecting our relentless efforts in the field of traditional medicine and historical research,” remarked Prof. Acharya. NIIMH has pioneered several digital initiatives, such as the AMAR Portal, which catalogues over 16,000 Ayush manuscripts, including 4,249 digitized manuscripts, 1,224 rare books, 14,126 catalogues, and 4,114 periodicals. The SAHI Portal showcases 793 medico-historical artefacts, while the e-Books of Ayush project provides digital versions of classical textbooks. The NAMASTE Portal compiles morbidity statistics from 168 hospitals, and the Ayush Research Portal indexes 42,818 published Ayush research articles.

The institute is home to more than 500 physical manuscripts and houses the Medical Heritage Museum and Library, featuring rare books and manuscripts dating back to the 15th century AD. NIIMH also publishes the Journal of Indian Medical Heritage. More details about the institute can be found on the NIIMH Official Website.

In India, there are approximately 58 WHO Collaborating Centres across various biomedical and allied science disciplines. CCRAS-NIIMH, Hyderabad, now joins the ranks as the third WHO Collaborating Centre in Traditional Medicine, following the Institute for Teaching & Research in Ayurveda, Jamnagar, and the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY), New Delhi.

As the first WHO Collaborating Centre for “Fundamental and Literary Research in Traditional Medicine,” NIIMH will assist WHO in standardizing terminologies for Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, and Sowa-Rigpa, and in updating the Traditional Medicine Module-II for the Eleventh edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). Additionally, the Centre will support Member States in developing research methodologies for Traditional Medicine.

This achievement is a testament to the leadership and efforts of Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary (Ayush), Government of India, and the technical guidance from Dr. Pawan Godatwar, Technical Officer, WHO-SEARO, New Delhi, and Dr. Pradeep Kumar Dua, Technical Officer, TM Unit, WHO Headquarters.

The WHO Collaborating Centre for “Fundamental and Literary Research in Traditional Medicine” will be led by Prof. Vaidya Rabinarayan Acharya, Director General, CCRAS, along with a dedicated team including Dr. G. P. Prasad, Assistant Director I/c and Unit Head, Vaidya Saketh Ram Thrigulla, Research Officer (Ayurveda), and Dr. Santosh Mane, Research Officer (Ayurveda), NIIMH, Hyderabad, in coordination with the Literary and Fundamental Research team of CCRAS Headquarters.

This new designation highlights NIIMH’s pivotal role in advancing traditional medicine research and its ongoing commitment to preserving and promoting India’s rich medical heritage on a global stage.

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