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NIIMH, Hyderabad Designated as WHO Collaborating Centre for Traditional Medicine Research

National Institute of Indian Medical Heritage (NIIMH), Hyderabad, has been designated as a WHO Collaborating Centre for "Fundamental and Literary Research in Traditional Medicine," recognizing its significant contributions to documenting and promoting traditional Indian healthcare systems.

Saurabh Shukla
NIIMH, Hyderabad Designated as WHO Collaborating Centre for Traditional Medicine Research (Photo Source: WHO)
NIIMH, Hyderabad Designated as WHO Collaborating Centre for Traditional Medicine Research (Photo Source: WHO)

World Health Organization (WHO) has granted the National Institute of Indian Medical Heritage (NIIMH) in Hyderabad, a unit under the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) and the Ministry of Ayush, the esteemed status of a WHO Collaborating Centre (CC) for "Fundamental and Literary Research in Traditional Medicine" (CC IND-177). This designation, effective from June 3, 2024, will last for four years.

NIIMH, established in 1956, stands as a unique institution dedicated to the documentation and promotion of medico-historical research across various traditional and modern healthcare disciplines in India, including Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa, Homoeopathy, and Biomedicine. This milestone achievement has been realized under the diligent leadership of Prof. Vaidya Rabinarayan Acharya, the Director General of CCRAS and the head of the newly designated WHO-CC.

Expressing his pride, Prof. Acharya stated, "This designation by WHO is a significant milestone, reflecting our relentless efforts in the field of traditional medicine and historical research." The institute has spearheaded numerous digital initiatives within Ayush, such as the AMAR Portal, which archives 16,000 Ayush manuscripts, including 4,249 digitized manuscripts, 1,224 rare books, 14,126 catalogues, and 4,114 periodicals. Additionally, the SAHI Portal showcases 793 medico-historical artefacts, while the e-Books of Ayush project offers digital versions of classical textbooks. The NAMASTE Portal aggregates morbidity statistics from 168 hospitals, and the Ayush Research Portal indexes 42,818 published Ayush research articles.

NIIMH also boasts a repository of over 500 physical manuscripts and houses the Medical Heritage Museum and Library, which contains rare books and manuscripts dating back to the 15th century AD. The institute also publishes the Journal of Indian Medical Heritage. More information about NIIMH can be found on their official website.

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

As the inaugural 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 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 designation is a testament to the leadership 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.

WHO Collaborating Centre for "Fundamental and Literary Research in Traditional Medicine" will be led by Prof. Vaidya Rabinarayan Acharya, Director General of CCRAS, along with a dedicated team comprising 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.

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