Experts call for integration of medicine systems

Karachi: Speakers at the concluding session of third Hamdard International Unani Medicine Conference on “Unani Medicine : Education and Research Issues, Prospects and Challenges”, here Thursday said that integration of different systems of medicine was necessary to resolve the problem of public healthcare, particularly in rural areas.

The concluding session was held on Wednesday evening presided over by Mrs. Sadia Rashid, Chancellor, Hamdard University at Bait al-Hikmah Auditorium, Madinat al-Hikmah, Karachi.

Chief guest and president of Ibn Sina Institute of Tibb, South Africa, Rashid Bheka said that the problem of healthcare throughout the world could not be resolved without integration of all systems of medicine, including Tibb-i-Unani, as no system of medicine was complete and had the capacity to resolve the healthcare problem alone.

He said it was his own experience that no single system of medicine could cure all patients. Because, when his daughter seriously fell ill and the doctors failed to cure her and even to diagnose her disease, he then took the facility of traditional medicine and his daughter got cured by the treatment of Tibb-i-Unani and this made him to believe in this system of medicine.

This particular event had changed his mind and his journey towards Tibb-i-Unani had started, he said, adding that he came in Pakistan in 1994 and met with Hakim Said and he and Hamdard Pakistan had guided and cooperated with him, that’s why he succeeded in establishing an institute of tibb in South Africa. ‘I believe, there would be a big contribution of Tibb-i-Unani in resolving the public health care issue in future’, he concluded.

Dr. Usman Ghani Khan took an account of conference’s proceedings and said that the conference as a whole was successful. However, the education and training of Tibb-i-Unani was needed to be more emphasized on, he added.

Dr. Aftab Saeed, Director, Hamdard Research Institute of Unani Medicine, Hamdard University submitted the following recommendations in the session, based on the speeches, observations and papers presented in the 3day conference:

Unani/Herbal traditional medicines provide low-cost remedies for rural health care; therefore, the traditional medicine should be explored, encouraged and developed into primary health care programs.

Government and nongovernmental organizations should help to create and support education and use of traditional medicines on priority basis.

Government of Pakistan should promote and support research and development at the University level in order to introduce regimental therapies at large and to modernize techniques for producing effective natural health care products.

The Faculty of Eastern Medicine, Hamdard University be declared as WHO Centre for Collaborative Research on Traditional Medicine and that Shifaul Mulk Memorial Hospital, working under the Faculty of Eastern Medicine, Hamdard University as the Centre of Excellence for Primary Health Care.

The National workshops on traditional medicine practices and utilization should be further channelized so as to facilitate and promote innovative research strategies for traditional medicine through the coordination of interdisciplinary and collaborative research.

The recommendations made by the International Association of Unani Medicine IAUM, Faculty of Eastern Medicine FEM Hamdard University, Pakistan Association for Eastern Medicine PAEM and Herbal Manufacturing Association of Pakistan, National Institute for Health NIH Islamabad aim at strengthening the practice of Traditional, Complementary or Alternative Medicines should be given priority for implementation, harmonization and integration of traditional medicine into health care delivery systems.

Certificates were given away to the participants of the conference and cash prize to Saima Ghayas on winning the poster competition.

Hakim Rahat Nasim Sohdervi, Senior Vice President, Pakistan Association for Eastern Medicine offered vote of thanks and Dr. Maham Munir Ahmed, Vice President, Hamdard Foundation Pakistan gave concluding remarks.

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