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WHO Designates NIIMH Hyderabad as Collaborating Centre for Traditional Medicine Research

Hyderabad: The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated the National Institute of Indian Medical Heritage (NIIMH) in Hyderabad as a WHO Collaborating Centre (CC) for “Fundamental and Literary Research in Traditional Medicine” (CC IND-177). This prestigious recognition, granted for four years starting June 3, 2024, is a testament to NIIMH’s outstanding contributions in the field of traditional medicine.

Established in 1956, NIIMH operates under the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), Ministry of Ayush. It is dedicated to documenting and showcasing medico-historical research in Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa, Homoeopathy, Biomedicine, and related healthcare disciplines in India. The institute’s achievements have been steered under the diligent leadership of Prof. Vaidya Rabinarayan Acharya, Director General of CCRAS and Head of the WHO Collaborating Centre.

Prof. Acharya commented, “This designation by WHO is a significant milestone, reflecting our relentless efforts in the field of traditional medicine and historical research.” NIIMH has been a pioneer in various digital initiatives of Ayush, including:

  • AMAR Portal: Catalogues 16,000 Ayush manuscripts, featuring 4,249 digitized manuscripts, 1,224 rare books, 14,126 catalogues, and 4,114 periodicals.
  • SAHI Portal: Showcases 793 medico-historical artifacts.
  • e-Books of Ayush: Provides digital versions of classical textbooks.
  • NAMASTE Portal: Collects cumulative morbidity statistics from 168 hospitals.
  • Ayush Research Portal: Indexes 42,818 published Ayush research articles.

The institute also houses over 500 physical manuscripts and features a Medical Heritage Museum and Library with rare books and manuscripts dating back to the 15th century. Additionally, NIIMH publishes the Journal of Indian Medical Heritage. More information about the institute can be found on the NIIMH Official Website.

India boasts approximately 58 WHO Collaborating Centres across various biomedical and allied science disciplines. NIIMH, Hyderabad, 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 updating the Traditional Medicine Module-II for the Eleventh edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). The Centre will also support Member States in developing research methodologies for Traditional Medicine.

This designation highlights the leadership and efforts of Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary (Ayush), Government of India, with technical guidance and support 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, 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.

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