Gujarat Declaration, WHO Summit 2023 for Holistic Healthcare

Gujarat Declaration

The World Health Organization (WHO) has unveiled the “Gujarat Declaration,” the outcome document of the inaugural WHO Traditional Medicine Global Summit 2023. This declaration reaffirms the global commitment to preserving indigenous knowledge, safeguarding biodiversity, and embracing traditional, complementary, and integrative medicine. It underscores the imperative of employing rigorous scientific methodologies to gain a deeper understanding, assess, and, when appropriate, apply more holistic, context-specific, intricate, and personalized approaches to healthcare and well-being for all.

India’s Role as Host: Gujarat Declaration

The Gujarat Declaration also highlights the pivotal role of India, serving as the host of the WHO Global Traditional Medicine Centre located in Jamnagar, Gujarat. India’s role in enhancing WHO’s capacity to support member states and stakeholders in advancing the summit’s action agenda and other pertinent priorities is emphasized.

Key Themes of the WHO Traditional Medicine Global Summit

The action points formulated during the two-day WHO Traditional Medicine Global Summit 2023, held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, are rooted in the evidence, deliberations, and outcomes presented during the event. Diverse topics were deliberated upon, encompassing the health and well-being of individuals and the planet, research and evidence, universal health coverage, primary healthcare and health systems, data and routine information systems, digital health frontiers, biodiversity and sustainability, human rights, equity, and ethics.

Gujarat Declaration: A Commitment to Ancient Wisdom

Union Minister of Ayush, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, affirmed that the “Gujarat Declaration” serves as a testament to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s unwavering commitment to promoting India’s ancient Traditional Medicine system. Through collaborative endeavors and sustainable practices, the declaration charts a course toward a healthier future for generations to come.

Harnessing the Potential of Traditional Medicine

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO, emphasized during the WHO Traditional Medicine Global Summit that the “Gujarat Declaration” will act as a catalyst for unlocking the potential of traditional medicine through a scientific lens. The focus lies on integrating traditional medicines into national health systems and realizing the potency of traditional medicine.

Promoting Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development

The Gujarat Declaration underscores the necessity to expand evidence-based Traditional Complementary Integrative Medicine (TCIM) interventions and approaches in support of universal health coverage (UHC) and all health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It emphasizes the significance of multi-regional, multi-disciplinary, and multi-stakeholder collaborations to maximize the benefits of TCIM in global health.

Advancing Evidence-Based Integration

The declaration calls for support in integrating TCIM into national health policies and systems, grounded in high-quality research. It encourages the acceleration of the production, regulation, and formal utilization of scientifically proven TCIM products and practices.

Establishing a Global Network

The proposal includes the establishment of a global network of TCIM reference clinical centers for standardized data collection and monitoring, employing WHO International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) coding for implementation.

Embracing Digital Health Technologies

The summit highlighted the importance of developing and applying digital health technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), to advance digital health resources in the TCIM realm for enhanced health and well-being.

Preserving Biodiversity and Indigenous Rights

The declaration urges actions at all levels to conserve biodiversity and ensure equitable sharing of benefits derived from biodiversity resources and indigenous knowledge. It emphasizes the need to recognize, respect, and protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples, as outlined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Ethical TCIM Research and Practice

The declaration encourages the incorporation of ethical methods and processes in TCIM research and practice to ensure the responsible development and application of traditional medicines.

Gujarat Declaration: Conclusion

The WHO Traditional Medicine Global Summit 2023, co-hosted by the Ministry of Ayush, provided a comprehensive platform for discussions and culminated in the “Gujarat Declaration.” This declaration delineates a roadmap for holistic healthcare, promoting the integration of traditional and complementary medicine into contemporary healthcare systems while championing biodiversity preservation, indigenous rights, and ethical practices. The summit lays the foundation for a future where traditional and modern medicine collaborate to enhance global health and well-being.


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