|Year : 2020 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 43-45
Promoting Ayurveda for care and cure in COVID-19 pandemic period
Tanuja Manoj Nesari
Director, All India Institute of Ayurveda, Sarita Vihar, New Delhi, India
|Date of Submission||29-Sep-2020|
|Date of Acceptance||06-Oct-2020|
|Date of Web Publication||16-Oct-2020|
Prof. Tanuja Manoj Nesari
All India Institute of Ayurveda, Sarita Vihar, New Delhi
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Nesari TM. Promoting Ayurveda for care and cure in COVID-19 pandemic period. J Ayurveda Case Rep 2020;3:43-5
The current surge in infections follows severe disruption in health sector, economy, and livelihoods. Scientists and global health professionals together are accelerating research and development process, new norms and standards to contain the spread of the corona virus pandemic to help and care for those affected. The dramatic change in situ ation begun since the day the WHO has declared COVID-19 as “Public Health Emergency of International Concern.” Every country implemented custom-built management strategies to combat pandemic crisis. Even though the circumstances are unprecedented, global response draws on the lessons learned from other disease outbreaks over the past several decades, one among them being Spanish flu of 1918.
R&D Blueprint was activated by the WHO to accelerate diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics for this novel coronavirus. The Blueprint aims to improve coordination between scientists and global health professionals, accelerate the research and development process, and develop new norms and standards to learn from and improve upon the global response. As per the latest declaration, Russian scientists achieved a promising breakthrough in the global vaccine race, announcing that the country has become the first to approve an experimental coronavirus vaccine. According to the ICMR, the virus showing faster mutations in the future may affect the on-going attempts to develop a global vaccine for COVID-19. Significant mutation may force scientists to work on the vaccine to make adjustments.
Here comes the significant role of Ayurveda, abiding its fundamental principles. Ayurvedic classics documented epidemics/pandemics under the context of Janapadodhvamsa (~conditions devastate the human settlements). Similarly, infectious diseases have been considered under Sānkramika rogas. Pollution of air, water, climate, and environment is responsible for the spread of diseases on such a large scale, resulting in Janapadodhvamsa. Causes of vitiation of air, water, climate, and place along with their characteristics have been enumerated in classics. The Ministry of AYUSH officially published immune boosting measures based on simple Ayurvedic practices and scientific publications. The holistic approach of AYUSH systems of medicine gives focus on prevention through lifestyle modification, dietary management, and prophylactic interventions for improving the immunity and simple remedies based on the presentations of the symptoms. The AYUSH approach to manage the outbreak broadly comprises:
- Preventive and prophylactic
- Treatment of COVID-19
- Add-on interventions to the conventional care along with post-infection restorative care.
Faculty of All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), New Delhi contributed during the initial phase of COVID infection by devising the Ayurveda Practitioners guidelines for COVID-19 management, which was published by the Ministry of AYUSH. The mass prophylactic program “AYURAKSHA” was carried out on 80,000 Delhi Police personnel under the directions of the Ministry of AYUSH. Delhi Police, being the frontline warriors of COVID-19, are being given AYURAKSHA kit for boosting the immunity and increasing quality of life against COVID-19. Corona Se Jung Delhi Police Ke Sang- AYURAKSHA program has been carried out in three phases as an observational clinical research study in collaboration with Public Health Foundation of India. The interim trends from the study show promising results in decreasing the new cases reported drastically after consumption of AYURAKSHA kit boosting the immunity among Delhi Police personnel in comparison with other police forces of the country and general population of Delhi. This study is considered to be one of the world's largest observational cohort studies, which has also drastically influenced in the mortality rate among Delhi Police force. As another program to help the families of Delhi police; 'DHANWANTARI RATH' - Mobile health clinics are reaching Delhi police residential colonies. AYURAKSHA Wellness Centers are set up at different residential areas of Delhi police to provide complete medical care. They are too provided with AYURAKSHA immune boosting kit medications for a specific duration, and the sample is also analyzed for pre- and post-immune status after consumption of the medications and after follow-up. Interim trends suggest significant decline in the instances of infected COVID-19 cases. The mortality rate has been observed to be 0.44% in September 2020.
The COVID-19 era has substantially increased the relevancy of research among AYUSH systems. About 61% of COVID-19 related clinical trials registered in CTRI belong to AYUSH healthcare system, inferring the increasing interest towards traditional practices for disease prevention and treatment. More than nine research projects have been initiated by AIIA, New Delhi in collaboration with various National and International reputed organizations, such as All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, and ESI Hospitals, to promote the practice of Ayurveda both as prophylactic and immune boosting therapy in the wake of COVID-19. A few studies are being conducted under the supervision of Interdisciplinary AYUSH Research and Development Task Force. All the studies are registered in the CTRI and are under progress with very promising interim trends. Other than these, under the directions of International Cooperation Cell of Ministry of AYUSH, the institute is also collaborating with its reputed international MoU partners such as Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, US; Frankfurt Innovation Center, Germany; and UK College of London for conducting COVID-related researches. The institute is documenting the propitious results and looking forward to release the chain of success stories to establish the evidence that which is the need for the hour, to propagate Ayurveda as a mainstream medicine instead of the alternative cure that is often alleged with the natural and powerful science of Ayurveda.
Being an apex institute of Ayurvedic treatment, AIIA has made a hall mark by providing successful scientific treatments in the country by setting up COVID Health Center (CHC) with the motto of providing care with compassion. Free rapid antigen testing and RT-PCR testing facilities are arranged to public as a part of the CHC. Intensive Care Unit (ICU) has been upgraded with ventilator facility and all other standard provisions of ICU. The primary aim of the COVID (CHC) established in the AIIA is to provide and promote holistic care for COVID patients rather than formula-based or single drug-based approach. Different protocols developed based on the Ayurveda principles are practiced classifying the patients into various groups based on their common domains such as Prakruti and symptoms as Ayurveda equally emphasizes on the relevance of Rogi and Roga Pareeksha (the core principles of patient and disease analysis). Since the hospital is converted to CHC, hundreds of patient seeking cure got 100% recovery from its holistic services provided. The bed occupancy in CHC with COVID patients seeking care through Ayurveda is 100% ever since inception. The average recovery time is also very encouraging 10.5 among 200 patients in comparison to national average time of recovery of about 25 days. Patient feedback observed details of complete change in lifestyle of the patients who were admitted for treatment even after healthy discharge. It was also noted that all the healthcare workers who had served their duties COVID care in residential groups staying 24/7 in the hospital (CHC) for 10 days with all standard precautionary protocol have not reported a single case of infection, which is highly encouraging in comparison to other hospitals across the globe providing COVID care where infection to healthcare professionals is very common.
As per the directions of the Ministry of AYUSH, a COVID Call Center has been established at AIIA for handling queries related to COVID-19 being raised by the general public telephonically and web based which is successfully serving the queries raised by common public regarding COVID-19. Post-COVID care and research works to boost immunity and prevent complications have also been taken up by the Institute. The Institute has also been a successful stakeholder in all the initiatives taken up by the Ministry of AYUSH including immunity campaign, various international and national collaborations, and activities to tackle the COVID 19 through AYUSH systems and to generate valid scientific evidences by meticulous documentation and public healthcare initiatives. To popularize, validate, and establish the principles and practice of holistic Ayurveda care as preventive curative and restorative aspects in the wake of COVID-19 to public domain and contribute its best to the public health domain is the mission currently undertaken by the institute.
We welcome the inclusion of AYUSH medicines in the “Post COVID Management Protocol”. We also appreciate the “National Clinical Management Protocol based on Ayurveda and Yoga for management of Covid-19” released in the benefit of humanity that holds time tested, evidence based formulations. These protocols are expecting to play an important role in the care and cure of COVID-19 associated manifestations.
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