New Delhi: Our AYUSH Ministry plans to study on 50 lakh people to find ‘evidence’ about the result of alternative medicines to fight against Covid -19. To complete this procedure, AYUSH Ministry has formed a group that consists of eight officers that are led by P. K Pathak, an additional secretary of the ministry.
An internal meeting was held on 17 April 2020 to discuss the formation of the committee, and they concluded that “We are planning to conduct a population-based study on a large number of people to collect evidence and strengthen the use of AYUSH interventions, “Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, secretary, AYUSH ministry.
The working team will consult the World Health Organization to provide full training to its researchers for the study. This study will be divided into three groups: First is, General public, second, Front line workers, and third is, Positive patients of Covid 19. We have already got the approval of 1lacs 80 thousand peoples for participation through the State Governments. And we will add many nominations.
The design of the study has been made in consultation with different epidemiological and healthcare experts, including from the ICCMR (Indian Council of Medical Research), National Institute of Epidemiology, and Public Health Foundation of India. Additionally, the Ministry also plans to conduct clinical trials on traditional herbs, such as Mulethi, Ashwagandha, Guduchi, etc., to find out if they help in the prevention of Covid 19.
The Ministry if AYUSH – stands for Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, Sowa rigpa, and Homeopathy, has faced repeated criticism for propounding pseudo-scientific medicines as alternative medicines.
Medical Staff & Police officials to be a part of this pilot project of study-
This study will focus on the preventive usage of alternative medicines, as well as its usage of treatment as standalone and add-on with modern medicines.
For the study of the general public, the government will survey common people to check if they have followed the advisory issued in the month of March by the ministry about using home remedies to boost immunity against Covid 19.
The advisory asked people to drink boiled water added with tulsi leaves, crushed ginger, and turmeric, have a good and sound sleep, eat freshly cooked food, and practice yoga under the guidance of qualified instructors.
The advisory was also endorsed by PM Narendra Modi in his address to the nation last month where he asked people to follow some natural home remedies for Covid 19 that is suggested by the ministry.
The Ministry will conduct the survey through a mobile application named as “Sanjivani” and also planning to go door-to-door to understand how people use the alternative medicines in their daily lives, and what differences do they find, the official said.
Study on Front line workers and Patients of Covid 19-
The above-said official quoted on a study on front line workers will include ” all quarantined police officials, officers deputed in containment zones, all the quarantine zones, and those working in the field.
Delhi Police has already enrolled 80,000 of its personnel under the study. Ayurvedic immunity-boosting measures will be studied like Chyawanprash, Anu Taialm (herbal oil), and Sanshamani Vati (Ayurvedic herbal formulation), he added. Police officials and all the health workers will be given these Ayurvedic formulations along with other Ayurvedic medicines as a part of the study.
For the study on patients of Covid 19, the ministry will give them exclusive AYUSH based treatment along with modern medicines.
For instance, the Ayurvedic and Unani Tibbia College in New Delhi is presently treating 30 patients of Covid 19 with Chaudhary Brahm Prakash Ayurveda Charak Sansthan, also in the national capital has around of 80 patients. These hospitals are treating patients, exclusively through alternative medicines, the official added.
However, in Medanta, a Super Specialty Hospital, the ministry is running a trial where patients are being given AYUSH treatment along with modern medicines, the official said.
These studies are now launched in hospitals in different countries, the official added.