CTMR’s Revitalization Health Program to strengthen traditional healers enters third phase
Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai
Thursday, August 02, 2012, 08:00 Hrs [IST]
In order to protect the indigenous traditional knowledge in medicine and local community knowledge in managing healthcare related issues, the Chennai-based Centre for Traditional Medicines and Research (CTMR) has initiated a programme Revitalization Health Program, which was conceived and funded by the department of Ayush to strengthen the traditional healers of rural areas in eight districts of Tamil Nadu.
The Centre identified eight districts --- Salem, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Namakkal, Vellore, Thiruvannamalai, Kancheepuram and Thiruvallur --for implementing the project.
The program, started way back in 2010 with documentation and validation of indigenous and local health managements by the traditional healers, will culminate in December this year. The third phase of the program, scheduled for August 11, will focus on managing resources for better solutions for healthcare related issues affecting rural as well as urban people. Further to this, there will be two more programmes to strengthen the traditional knowledge of the healers.
As part of the project, the revitalization program in four districts of Salem, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri and Namakkal will be held on August 11 in Salem. Seventy five healers who have completed the documentation and validation program will be allowed to attend the final training which is titled as ‘Documentation, Validation and Training in local health traditions”.
“The first phase was concentrated on documentation, second one on validation and the final one is to train the healers on how to manage the diseases with their indigenous knowledge. Only healers of Salem, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri and Namakkal districts are allowed to attend the training. For healers of other four districts, separate programs will be held shortly”, said Dr T Thirunarayanan, secretary of CTMR.
After completing the work for documentation on the treatment method adopted by 150 traditional healers, the way they prepare the medicines, the raw materials used etc in the particular areas, the Centre went on with the second phase of the programme, Validation. The third stage is now for Revitalization and Capacity building, he added.
According to him, the training will also impart the knowledge on how to manage common ailments and lifestyle disorders with local biological resources in safe and cost effective manner. But in the third phase of training, admission has been restricted to 75 traditional healers from the four districts. Special coaching on danger signals in diseases, limitations of traditional healing, reference of patients to medical centres, particularly during outbreak of diseases etc will be discussed in the classes. The one day program will also contemplate over disseminating knowledge on collection and preservation of herbs and other traditional resources for the preparation of medicines.
The programme will begin with a function presided over by S Sathapillai, retired district judge. Officials from the department of Indian System of Medicine & Homoeopathy and experts from Central Council for Research in Siddha and trainers from CTMR will handle the programme.
Previously, the training and research institute in Chennai made remarkable impact in areas of mobilizing and organizing traditional healers in the interior villages of all major districts by implementing novel schemes for providing training and capacity building. As part of their incessant training programs and for facilitating the implementation, CTMR has set up a charitable Siddha clinic at Chinnandikuppam, a fisherman colony near Chennai, one charitable clinic in a remote village at Kanavaipudur in the border area of Salem – Dharmapuri districts and a mobile clinic for the urban slums in the state capital.
Besides the Ayush sponsored programs, CTMR is currently engaged in digitization of Siddha palm leaf manuscripts, promotion of medicinal tree plantations at Indian Medicine Institutes and creation of medicinal plant gardens in health centres and schools, publication and translation of classical Siddha texts and training manuals, the secretary of CTMR said.