Herald: It’s all airy fairy

It’s all airy fairy

16 Jan 2019 06:06am IST

Report by
AVINASH TAVARES

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16 Jan 2019 06:06am IST

Report by
AVINASH TAVARES

The State has received Rs 19 odd crore under the National Ayush Mission but the State has not issued a single utilisation certificate

MARGAO: Goa State has received Rs 19.17 crore under the National Ayush Mission. However, the Ministry of Ayush as not received a single utilisation certificate from the State of Goa. According to RTI reply, although the state has consistently received around Rs 5 Crore every year rice 2015, only Rs 3.57 Crore has been utilised.

One of the projects under the NAM in Goa is the renovation of the old TB hospital in Margao, which will be one of the two Ayush Hospitals in Goa. In November 2018, Sripad Naik had announced 5 yoga centres in Goa and that primary health centres will have Ayush facilities

Herald contacted the office of the Ayush Minister, Sripad Naik to inquire about the status of the project. The Addition Personal Secretary of the minister revealed the State government has not completed the works. “We told them to inaugurate the hospital before the code of conduct but we don’t think it will be ready”. He said that the funds are given to the State hospital. “Of the 10 Crores for two projects (north and south district Ayush hospitals), we have given Rs 6 Crores. Rs 4 crores have to be given by the State”. He informed that in addition, a research centre worth Rs 300 Crore (Phase 1) is planned and is in the process of being tendered.

Claims of treatment on Ayush medication but no proof

The website of the Ministry of Ayush has a list of treatments which is promoted by the minister. Shodhana treatment, the website claims, is effective for neurological disorder, musculoskeletal disease conditions, certain vascular or neuro-vascular states, respiratory diseases, metabolic and degenerative disorders.  Similarly, the website claims that Satvavajaya is effective in the treatment of mental disorders and Siddha system is effective in treating chronic liver and skin diseases, especially rheumatic problems, prostate enlargement, bleeding piles and peptic ulcers. In addition, siddha medicines which contain mercury, silver, arsenic, lead and sulphur have hound to be effective in treating certain infectious diseases including venereal disease and reducing highly debilitating problems that manifest themselves among patients of HIV/AIDS

When asked under RTI for evidence/research/tests reports substantiating these claims, the reply given by the Ayush Ministry is that “As far as National Ayush Mission is concerned, information is not related to it and may be treated as NIL”. In other words, the Ministry of Ayush has no evidence of the effectiveness of treatments promoted by the Ayush Ministry

 A doctor of modern medicine (MBBS) commented on the RTI reply stating that the Ministry is not interested in any research. “It looks like the Ministry of Ayush is promoting quackery and putting people’s lives at risk. How can they vouch for so-called medicines that use lead, arsenic and sulphur? If any of these natural remedies work, the government had to invest in synthesising the compounds that occur in these natural substances so that it can be tested and mass produced”,  said that doctor.

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