Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Health & Family Welfare Minister launched the ‘Sanjivani’ App and two AYUSH based studies related to COVID-19 situation, here today, in the presence of Shri Shripad Yesso Naik, MoS (I/c), AYUSH who participated through Video Conferencing from Goa.
Highlighting the importance of harnessing technology for COVID-19 response, the Union Health Minister said “The ‘Sanjivani’ mobile app, which has been launched today, will help to generate data on acceptance and usage of AYUSH advocacies and measures among the population and its impact in prevention of COVID 19. It is developed by Ministry of AYUSH and MEITY and shall reach out to a target of 50 lakh people.”
Dr. Harsh Vardhan stated that COVID-19 mangement has provided a potent platform for alliance between MoHFW, MoAYUSH and technology organisations such as CSIR, ICMR, and UGC to not only develop AYUSH interventions and solutions, but also help in promoting AYUSH knowledge for the larger good of the global community. These organisations are joinging hands today and are being supported and guided by ICMR and DCGI in propagating the wholesomeness and holistic health benefits of the age-old traditional medicinal knolwedge of Ayurveda, he added.
In addition to the App, Dr Harsh Vardhan also launched two more scientific studies. One is the collaborative clinical research study on Ayurveda interventions as prophylaxis and as an add-on to standard care to COVID 19, which shall be a joint initiative of Ministry of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the Ministry of Science & Technology through Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) with technical support of ICMR. The Interdisciplinary Ayush R&D Task Force headed by Dr Bhushan Patvardhan, Vice Chairman, University Grant Commission (UGC), has formulated and designed clinical research protocols for prophylactic studies and add-on interventions in COVID-19 positive cases through thorough review and consultative process of experts of high repute from different organisations across the country for studying four different interventions viz. Ashwagandha, Yashtimadhu, Guduchi +Pippali and a poly herbal formulation (AYUSH-64). This includes the following two areas:
Ashwagandha for the Prophylaxis Against SARS-COV-2 in subjects with increased risk during the COVID 19 Pandemic: A comparison with Hydroxychloroquine in the health care providers, and
Effectiveness of Ayurveda Formulation as an adjunct to ‘Standard of Care’ for the Treatment of Mild to Moderate COVID-19: A Randomized, Open Label, Parallel Efficacy, Active Control, Multi-Centre Exploratory Drug Trial.
Dr Harsh Vardhan also launched the population based interventional studies on impact of AYUSH based prophylactic interventions for prevention of COVID-19 infection in high risk population. The core objectives comprise of assessment of preventive potential of AYUSH interventions for COVID 19 and to assess the improvement in quality of life in high risk population. The study will be carried out through four Research Councils under Ministry of AYUSH and National Institutes in 25 states across the country and several State Governments covering approximately 5 lakh population. The outcome of the study is expected to pave a new horizon in understanding the preventive potential of AYUSH interventions during pandemics like COVID 19 through scientific evidence.
Elaborating on the import of these studies, Dr Harsh Vardhan stated that these studies shall re-establish the importance of AYUSH pathies with the help of rigour of CSIR, ICMR and DCGI. “This is truly a momentous day. The technology alliance provides valuable opportunity for such knowledge based solutions to continue to benefit us even after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed, by possible integration of AYUSH in the mainstream scientific efforts”, he added. Let us also understand that the modern pathies of medicine and science are not in competition with those of AYUSH, but they complement and strengthen each other in intrinsic ways, Dr Harsh Vardhan stated. Under the leadership of our beloved Prime Minister, AYUSH advisories for enhancing immunity during COVID-19 pandemic have been acknowledged the world over, he said.
Shri Rajesh Bhushan, OSD/Secretary (HFW), Shri Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, AYUSH, Dr. Shekhar Mande, Director General, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, Dr. V. G. Somani, Drugs Controller General of India, and other senior officers of MoHFW and AYUSH were also present at the launch event.