Pandemic: Experiences and lessons learned
Immune modulation is one the key strengths of Ayush system and it proved very crucial in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic, said Prof. (Dr.) Afshar Alam, Vice Chancellor, Jamia Hamdard, inaugurating a series of five webinars on “Covid-19 Pandemic – Experiences and Lessons Learned” being organised by the Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM), Ministry of Ayush, Government of India during 15-21 December 2021.
He further said ever since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, healthcare system was stretched to its limits and Ayush system with its immune-boosting measures played very crucial role as strengthening immune system is important for the prevention of diseases.
He appreciated the CCRUM for organising the webinar series on the pandemic and said that as the apex government body it has made great strides in research and development in Unani medicine.
In his introductory address, Prof. Asim Ali Khan, Director General, CCRUM and Adviser (Unani), Ministry of Ayush, Government of India said the CCRUM carried out many activities during the Covid-19 pandemic by undertaking various measures to check the spread of the pandemic and bringing out advisories for immunity boosting measures.
He said several clinical studies related to Covid-19 were also conducted. The efficacy of four Unani formulations against SARS-COV-19 virus was evaluated through in-silico studies.
Addressing the first webinar of the series on ‘Lessons learned during Covid-19 pandemic’, Dr. Jugal Kishore, Professor and Head, Department of Community Medicine, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College & Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi shared his experience as a member of various ministerial committees constituted to deal with the pandemic. He explained measures to deal with different kinds of challenges faced and laid emphasis on adopting strong disease surveillance system, community involvement and preserving mental health as the strategies to be adopted in future to overcome the pandemic. He suggested integration of Ayush system for better handling of pandemic like situations.
Dr. R. K. Manchanda, Director, Directorate of Ayush, Govt. of NCT of Delhi shared an overview of different initiatives undertaken by Ayush healthcare institutions at State level during the Covid-19 pandemic. He also gave a brief about the protocol, observations and results of various research studies related to Ayush system specifically Unani Medicine.
He also invited Dr. Paras Wani and Dr. Noman Saleem to share their experience as Unani experts and investigators in the studies related to Covid-19.
Dr. Manchanda also discussed future strategies to handle the pandemic in case of emergence of new variant.
Padma Shri Dr. M.A. Waheed, former director, NRIUMSD, Hyderabad who was the moderator of the webinar said there is a need to further explore the strengths of Unani medicine and other indigenous medical systems in dealing with the pandemic like situations.
He appreciated the proceedings of the webinar and congratulated the CCRUM for organising the webinar series on Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr. Ghazala Javed, Research Officer (Unani) Scientist-IV, CCRUM coordinated the proceedings of the webinar along with Dr. Farha Ahmad,Research Officer (Unani) and Mohd. Niyaz Ahmad, Research Officer (Publication).
The sub-themes of other webinars of the series are “Role of nutrition in maintaining health”, “Management of Covid-19 cases: Experience sharing”, “Taking care of mental health during and after Covid-19” and “Post-Covid complications and care”. These webinars would be addressed by eminent experts from Ayush and modern medicine.