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Indigenous medical sector to be made a forex money spinner

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By: Staff Writer Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka government has embarked on a major initiative of promoting indigenous medicine overseas as it has the potential to complement western medicine in achieving a responsive health care system and high-quality health care outcomes in the country. To leverage its potential, the government is set to establish data collection and management on the availability, accessibility, and utilization of traditional medicine; strengthen its monitoring and regulation; and promote intensive research and training in this sector. In Sri Lanka, the use of traditional medicine also increased significantly at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Likewise, the Department of Ayurveda and the Ayurvedic Drugs Corporation jointly introduced an immune-boosting drink and a powder for those infected with COVID-19. Ayurvedic hospitals were also allowed to treat COVID-19 patients with traditional medicine. Data on service providers are also rare. The Ayurvedic Medical Council data indicate that there were about 24,000 registered practitioners in the country. In order to promote Indigenous Medicine overseas, Sri Lanka will hold an international exhibition on indigenous medical education and trade in the capital Colombo on Sept. 8-10 State Minister of Indigenous Medicine Sisira Jayakody told the media that representatives from various countries will be participating in this exhibition to be held at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall. He noted that necessary steps have been taken to promote the indigenous medicine sector as an industry with commercial value that can generate foreign exchange. The Ministry of Indigenous Medicine and the Department of Ayurveda have now started a  program to develop the indigenous medicine sector as an industry that can generate foreign exchange with commercial value,” Jayakodi commented further. The state minister, stating that necessary amendments would be made to the Ayurveda Act, subject to the Supreme Court’s orders, mentioned that the top court has approved the clauses regarding the cultivation of medicinal plants necessary for the promotion of the export sector in the county and the generation of foreign exchange. With the aim of boosting the tourism sector, the state minister said a new program is in progress to provide the contribution of the indigenous medical system to tourist hotels as a treatment method that goes beyond traditional methods. The program has already started producing well-trained certified therapists, he added. Jayakodi also spoke of the potential to promote the indigenous medicine as a sector that can generate incredible foreign exchange. “Today there is a very high demand for herbal products all over the world. Also, the cosmetics industry is a place where billions roam today. Also, indigenous medicine has a special place in the field of tourism.” The state minister also pointed out that many new trends have been made in the indigenous medicine system and Ayurvedic system in order to build a healthy population in the country as well as to solve the problems that have arisen in the health sector.
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