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Monday, May 20, 2024

Ayurvedic and Indigenous Medicine identified as areas to earn Foreign Exchange

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As there is a high demand for indigenous medicine and Ayurveda, it has been identified as a major foreign exchange earning sector in Sri Lanka and a number of programmes have been launched in this regard, said the Commissioner of Ayurveda, Dr. M.D.J. Abeygunawardena.

He made these remarks speaking at the media conference held at the Presidential Media Centre, today (09) via video technology under the theme ‘Indigenous Medicine to the World’.

Ms.Kumari Weerasekara , Secretary to the State Ministry of Indigenous Medicine Promotion, Rural and Ayurveda Hospitals Development and Community Health also participated at the media conference moderated by President’s Spokesman Kingsly Rathnayaka.

Indigenous medicine and Ayurveda traditional medicine systems have a very high commercial value in the post-COVID-19 era. Therefore, this is a valuable opportunity to promote the field through new strategies, said the Commissioner of Ayurveda.

‘Arrangements are being made to provide an integrated service with proper coordination of Western, Indigenous and Ayurvedic medical systems,’ he further said.

Ayurvedic Community Medical Practitioners are playing a vital role in the prevention of non-communicable diseases at school level and by going from door-to-door and many programmes are in operation to encourage people to have a non-toxic diet, said Ms. Kumari Weerasekara.

It is regrettable that the potential of indigenous and Ayurvedic medicine has not been taken into account in compiling the maternal mortality ratio indices of our country and it was emphasized that the indigenous and Ayurvedic medical sector of Sri Lanka has received praise internationally as well.

As a large number of local medicines are being released to the market today, the need for greater monitoring of medicinal drug regulations was also highlighted during the news briefing.

Responding to questions from the media as to whether the plans have been made to legalize cannabis cultivation and the criteria for releasing them to market, the Commissioner of Ayurveda said that the use of cannabis as a basic ingredient in the indigenous medicine was permitted by the “Indigenous Medicine Act of 1961”. He said that at present there is no shortage of cannabis quantities required for medicines and that cannabis is being issued only as a paste by ayurvedic doctors.

It was stated that a programme has been initiated to regulate all the centers that are being operated as Ayurvedic Massage Centers and steps have been taken to enforce the law against all illegal centers operating under the name of Ayurveda.

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