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Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru April 06 , 2021
Traditional healers of North Eastern states need to be brought into the healthcare mainstream, said Bejon Misra, founder, Mahamana Declaration who was recently appointed as Professor, R&D, North East Christian University (NECU) in Nagaland.

The concept of traditional healing has been recognized by the Ministry of Ayush. The need of the hour is to sustain ancient knowledge and livelihood of traditional healers who are known for their science in bone setting, bring relief to joint pain, treat jaundice and poisonous snake and insect bites, he added.

The seven states of North East are known for herbs and plants that have medicinal properties. This provides a promising opportunity to accelerate traditional healing practices. Moreover, NECU is the only accredited university in the world to train traditional healers. Therefore, the task on hand is to ensure that NECU is able take a leadership role in this space.

Further, the flora of the region supports research on medicinal plants enabling pharma and Ayush industry to thrive, Prof. Misra told Pharmabiz.

We also need to work towards improving healthcare accessibility with the Union government’s Ayushman Bharat that can be a game changer. Since NECU is QCI (Quality Council of India) accredited, strategies will be devised to bring in reliable systems into medical care delivery where primary health centres can be upgraded to NABH and NABL standards. Efforts will also be made to extensively utilize bamboo. For instance bamboo shoots too are known for high medicinal properties.  Bamboo can also be create packaging concepts for pharma and Ayush products. Here globally accepted quality standards of products with no issues of safety and health concerns need to be ensured, he said.

The young talent from NECU will be encouraged to focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. This will help them become job creators rather than be job seekers in pharmaceuticals and Ayush sectors.  The move can help maximize government research schemes leading to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Atma Nirbhar, he stated.

Noting that India lags in R&D, Prof Misra said a change in syllabus would help spur research. It is here the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is a step in the right direction with a thrust on skill development and innovation which NECU will give considerable attention.

The challenge in India is that research is viewed in isolation. There is a need to link research with industry. The government grants for research should be routed through the industry to ensure accountability in commercialization. At NECU too, research is at a nascent stage. There is a project signed with the World Bank, Union government and the Nagaland government where NECU work to facilitate best practices in research and traditional healing, said Prof Misra.

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