UAE to be hub for promoting alternative medicines

    Officials of UAE, India discuss path ahead during first International AYUSH Conference

    The UAE is set to become the hub for promoting traditional, complementary and alternative medicines in the region with the country joining hands with India in principle on several plans.

    Top officials of both countries held elaborate discussions on taking forward major proposals to support the wider acceptance of these branches of medicines during the first International AYUSH Conference and Exhibition which began in Dubai on Thursday.



    Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, inaugurated the three-day event organised by the Indian Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) and the Science India Forum in the UAE.

    Shripad Yasso Naik, Indian Minister of State for AYUSH, and Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, secretary to the ministry, put forward several proposals and plans to Dr Ameen Hussain Al Amiri, assistant undersecretary of Public Health Policy and Licensing Sector at the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention.

    Their suggestions included signing a memorandum of understanding between the two countries regarding the promotion of AYUSH, setting up an AYUSH chair in one of the universities in the UAE to conduct research and establishing a homeopathic college here. Approving AYUSH pharmacopoeia and establishing manufacturing companies here were also recommended to boost the availability and trade of medical products in this sector.

    Welcoming their plans and suggestions in principle, Dr Al Amiri said they could be implemented once they are taken up through the proper channel to ensure everything works within the regulations and specifications of the UAE health authorities.

    Open to ideas promoting well-being

    Dr Al Amiri said the UAE has already allowed compounding pharmacies and is open to introducing such new concepts which will help people. He said the ministry will also look into the approval of Siddha medicine if it provides only herbal medicines instead of medicines with heavy metal contents.

    Following the discussion, Naik said: “I can say that Dubai or the UAE will be the hub of AYUSH in this part of the world. From here, we can spread the knowledge [of these streams of medicines] for the well-being of the community.”

    During his inaugural speech earlier, Shaikh Nahyan said holistic medicine recognises the folly of the widespread belief that pharmacy pills alone will make us healthy although conventional medical research has indeed produced stunning results.

    “We all know that, despite the wonders of conventional medicine, we are not wholly healthy. As practical human beings, we are prepared to rediscover old cures, and to seek new paths to a healthy life. Even the conventional medical establishment knows that it does not have all the answers,” he said, noting that the main sponsor of conference is NMC Healthcare.

    He said the conference rightly celebrates and promotes the aim of holistic medicine in treating both mind and body. “AYUSH offers new paths that are in fact ancient paths refined in India over the centuries … Our Indian friends themselves have testified to the healing powers that have benefited them … Ayurvedic physicians in the UAE have positively affected the lives of a far more diverse international population than they may have in India itself.”

    Indian Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri and Dr B.R. Shetty, CEO of NMC Healthcare, also spoke about the important role played by these streams of medicines especially in treating lifestyle disorders, the prevention and treatment of which through AYUSH is the theme of the conference.

    There will be a free seminar for the public on prevention of lifestyle diseases at 3.30pm on Friday at Hall 2 of the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.