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Traditional Medicine System in Nepal


-By Dr. Rabindra Pandey
Medical Officer, Department of Ayurveda



Nepal is beautiful country lies between India and China. Inspite of its small geographical area, it is divided into three geographical regions. 15% area of North side is Himalaya range, 68% area is sub-tropical region and 17% area of South side is Terai region. More than 801% of people are depending upon agriculture. Nepal is sub-divided into 5 regions, 14 Zones and 75 Districts. Total population is approximately 2.50 crore, literacy rate is 53.75% and average per capita income is 240 US$.

At the government side, Ministry of Health and Population has sub-divided of three departments:
A. Department of Health Services
B. Department of Ayurveda
C. Department of Drug Administration
Traditional Medicine is ruled and regulated by Department of Ayurveda. The Major traditional system of Nepal is Ayurveda. Beside Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Unani, Naturopathy, Yoga etc. are also in existence.

Ayurveda, the science of life, is an outcome of continuous effort of thousands years experiences, experimentation and wisdom of ancient sages. Ayurveda is a medical science which is most rationale and scientific among all the ancient system of medicine. Ayurveda was in its golden peak up to 3-4 century AD.

In the context of Nepal, more than 85% if people are taking benefit from Ayurveda system, knowingly or unknowingly. More than 1400 species of medicinal plants are recorded. Due to variation of geography and climate, varieties of medicinal plants are also found. In Himalayan region very rare species with more potency are available. Identification, preservation, cultivation and medical-industrialization should be subject of priority.

In government, under the umbrella of Ministry of Health and Population, here are many intuitions with long history. Under department of Ayurveda, 1 regional hospital, Dang (30 bedded), 14 Zonal Ayurveda Dispensaries, 59 Districts Ayurveda Health Centers and 214 rural level Dispensaries are servicing people out of cost. Similarly Naradevi Ayurveda Hospital is central level Hospital (100 bedded) with specialized service. In each 5 regional directories, there is a unit of Ayurveda for supervision and monitoring. Ayurveda Doctors must be registered in Nepal Ayurveda council for practice and service. Approximately 200 Doctors are registered in council.

Ayurveda campus is producing B.A.M.S (Bachelor of Ayurveda Medicine and Surgery-5½ years course from PCL/I.SC.), 15 students/year under Tribhuvan University. This Bachelor level manpower is giving service at Zonal & District level. Medium level manpower (PCL) was produced from Ayurveda campus, but now a day this manpower is produced by Mahendra Sanskrit University and CTEVT (Council of Technical Education and Vocational Training). This type of manpower is giving service at rural level and as a Assistant in district, regional and center level. Right mow specialized course MD (Ay.) is not running in Nepal, we should go India for this. So conduction of specialized course MD (Ay.) in Nepal is necessary.

In policy level, National Ayurveda Health Policy 1995 and its extended policy 1993 are regulating Ayurveda system. Service standard guidelines for Ayurveda Hospital, District centers and Dispensaries are also functioning.

Treatment protocol and Essential drug list for Ayurveda institutions, Nepal Ayurveda pharmacopoeias etc. are being documented for the regulation and similarity of practice.

Singhadurbar Baidhakhana Vikash Samiti is government Ayurveda drug Manufacture Company with more than 350 years historical background producing more than 160 Ayurveda drugs, supplying for Ayurveda institution and to the public. Similarly 4 rural pharmacies and 5 district pharmacies are also producing Ayurveda drugs from locally available medicinal plants. Many private companies are also producing Ayurveda drugs in different parts of Nepal. In Himalayan kingdom Nepal, we have many original manuscripts like Kashyap Samhita, Chandra Nighantu etc. Many books and numbers of journals have been publishing for the awareness good welfare of people.

Ayurveda and alternative medicine unit in Ministry of Health and Population is functioning to make policies and rules for traditional medicine system.

In government side, 1 Homeopathic Hospital is running with I unit of unani Medicine. Nepal Homeopathic medical college is conducting B.H.M.S (Bachelor fo Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery) course. Middle level manpower of Naturopathy and Acupuncture is producing by CTEVT. There is 1 unit of Acupuncture in central Ayurveda Hospital. Other systems are practicing in Non-government sector. Homeopathic and Naturopathic manpower are registered in NHPc (Nepal Health Professional Council) and government is supporting to establish council for these systems.

For the research, modernization and development of Ayurveda, recently between the government of China and Nepal had an agreement to establish National Ayurveda Research and Training center in Katmandu & Nepal side is dong homework to establish Herbal garden, Hospital and Research center in Terai region (may be by the government of India).

For the development of traditional system in Nepal, Government should give high priority for identification, preservation, cultivation and registered Nepalese plants in IPR & Trips. Government institution should be strengthening with physical facilities, higher-level education should be conducted in Nepal, and manpower of traditional medicine should be trained and refreshed with new methods and inventions. Exchange of knowledge, techniques and experiences should be frequently sharing among the countries where traditional medical system is developing, farmers should be encouraged for cultivation of medicinal plants and industries should be established to produce herbal medicines.
By the adverse effect of modern medicine, world is turning back to the nature. Peoples of developed countries are being attracted by Ayurvedic medicine and its food and life style principle.


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