|ONE NATION, ONE HEALTH SYSTEM - SPECIAL ISSUE
|Year : 2023 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 65-68
One nation one health—Preview through Ayurveda
Ravi Dhaliya1, Bal Krishan Kaushik Sharma2, Gagan Singh Dhakkad3
1 Department of Agada Tantra, Babe Ke Ayurvedic Medical College & Hospital, Daudhar, India
2 Department of Dravya Guna, Guru Ravidas Ayurved University Punjab, Hoshiarpur, India
3 Department of Samhita Sidhanth, Guru Ravidas Ayurved University, Hoshiarpur, Punjab, India
|Date of Submission||20-Sep-2022|
|Date of Acceptance||02-Nov-2022|
|Date of Web Publication||08-Dec-2022|
Dr. Ravi Dhaliya
Department of Agada Tantra, Babe Ke Ayurvedic Medical College & Hospital, Daudhar, Moga, Punjab 142053
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
For many years, the definition of “health” has remained untouched as a narrow concept, encircling physical well-being from a medical context. Over the past years, different healthcare experts, whether groups or individuals, have developed and defended various definitions of what a proper state of “health” actually means in the present time. Human health cannot be separated from the health of our total planetary biodiversity in today’s world. Human beings live in an interdependent existence with the totality of the living world. We now know how liable our human well-being is to the “health” of the Earth’s energy exchange systems. The sustained good health of populations, along with the holistic approach to health and diseases, also requires a proper management of our social resources, economic relations, and the natural world because today’s public health has its roots in the same socioeconomic variations. India is known for its own traditional medicine, far older than modern medicine, with a state-owned education, practice, and research system. The world has recently recognized science’s efficacy in health and wellness. Ayurveda is not limited to medicine or therapy for a target organ; instead, it implies a holistic approach to life and living in harmony with nature. Ayurveda perceives human beings as the microcosm of the macrocosm and highlights how human life is interconnected and interdependent on nature. In achieving health, it always stresses this connection and uses strategies connecting humans to nature. Ayurveda practices assist individuals in taking control of their health and increasing self-reliance, and re-begin their relationship with the environment. Thus, Ayurveda can play an essential part in the One Nation, One Health System as the whole wellness of a nation and environment rather than individual health.
Keywords: Ayurveda, ecosystem, environment, health policy, one health
|How to cite this article:|
Dhaliya R, Kaushik Sharma BK, Dhakkad GS. One nation one health—Preview through Ayurveda. J Res Ayurvedic Sci 2023;7:65-8
| Introduction|| |
In 1946, WHO first proposed the definition of health as “A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” At a Health Council of the Netherlands conference in 2009, experts argued that health was not static but dynamic. In this conference, the preferred notion of health was considered “the ability to adapt and to self-manage.” Health is defined not by the doctor but by the individual according to their functional needs. According to Canguilhem, the doctor’s role is to help the individual adapt to their unique prevailing conditions.
Health is an outcome, a state of being, which is highly valued and prioritized within society. Therefore, it is seen as a resource for everyday life with nature, not the objective of individual living. Human health cannot be considered in isolation, for it depends highly on the quality of the environment in which people live. For people to be healthy, they need healthy environments.
Indian healthcare delivery has long been criticized for its poor standards, dearth of human resources, infrastructure, accessibility, availability, and affordability. “One Health” can be one solution for this. It is an integrated, unifying approach to balance and optimize the health of people, animals, and the environment. It is essential and helpful to prevent, predict, detect, and respond to global health threats caused by zoonotic outbreaks such as the COVID-19 pandemic. One health involves the public health, veterinary, and environmental sectors. The One Health approach is particularly relevant for food and water safety, nutrition, the control of zoonoses (diseases that can spread between animals and humans, such as flu, rabies, and Rift Valley fever), pollution management, and combating antimicrobial resistance (the emergence of microbes that are resistant to antibiotic therapy).
Recently, the Center has proposed and formulated an integrative health policy under One Nation, One Health System by 2030 that would integrate conventional medicine and traditional system of medicines such as allopathy, Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Unani, Siddha, etc., in medical practice, education, and research in India. Niti Aayog is working on this agenda of uniting the nation through a uniform health system. It seems such integration is its key modus operandi to bring about this reality.
The goal of health promotion as a whole is to combine the approach for addressing the common social factors with the determination and commitment to motivate and boost the individuals and the community for their active approach toward their health and embracing a healthy lifestyle and also making healthy choices by taking appropriate steps to create a clean environment, which is essential to achieve One Nation, One Health System moto.
| Ayurveda for One Health|| |
Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources and physical capacities. Therefore, health promotion is not just the responsibility of the health sector and conventional medicine system but goes beyond a healthy lifestyle to well-being. So here comes the role of Ayurveda, which is a foremost life science; knowledge of life and its various components suggest measures to stay healthy with nature. It describes ways to prevent and manage lifestyle disorders. It aims to achieve optimal health and well-being through a comprehensive approach that addresses the mind, body, behavior, and environment. Ayurveda provides better solutions for holistic health by including proper dietary management and modification, lifestyle advice, Panchakarma like biodetoxification and biopurification procedures, medicaments, and rejuvenation therapies. The holistic approach of Ayurveda, by treating the patient as a whole, includes interventions targeted toward complete physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being. Thus, this science is an effective option for lifestyle disorders.
When every individual is healthy, all the families will be healthy; if each family is healthy, then every village and every city will be healthy; and thus the whole country will be healthy. Science is not only limited to an individual approach, it also talks about the environment, biodiversity, and animal health, which makes Ayurveda concepts more apt in today’s world for the motto One Nation, One Health System. This will ensure the individual need and provide supportive prevention methods by incorporating Ayurveda, Yoga, and other holistic sciences in the national health policy.
| Scope of Ayurveda in One Nation, One Health System|| |
Ayurveda and Yoga showed promising effects in improving the immunity of the general public and reducing the mortality rate during COVID-19 and also helped in managing the long-term effects of COVID-19. Many countries praised the efforts of India and healthcare worldwide. The Ministry of Ayush has taken many important initiatives, formulated various strategies at various stages to combat COVID-19, and proved the strength of Ayush systems in the prophylaxis and managing of such pandemics. There is hope that India is well prepared to fight future pandemics.
Ayurveda has shown its efficacy in managing prevalent lifestyle disorders in the past decade, as lifestyle diseases such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, overweight/obesity, and cardiovascular diseases are remarkably rising. Cardiovascular disorders, obesity, and diabetes continue to be the primary cause of mortality, representing about 30% of all deaths worldwide. With rapid economic development and increasing westernization of lifestyle in the past few decades, the prevalence of these diseases has reached alarming proportions among Indians in recent years. Thus, Ayurveda can play a significant role in tackling such disease conditions with its holistic approach.
| Prevention of Diseases|| |
Ayurveda offers various regimens, including Dinacharya (daily regimen), Ritucharya (seasonal regimen), Panchakarma (five detoxification and biopurification therapies), and Rasayana (rejuvenation) therapies for the prophylaxis of lifestyle diseases. These Ayurveda regimens can be disseminated on a broader scale throughout the nation.
The Sadvritta (ideal routine) and Aachara Rasayana (the code of conduct) are important concepts of Ayurveda designed to have a healthy psychological viewpoint and appropriate human behavior for a healthy society. These routines should be included in the education system at a broader scale across the country and even should be encouraged in workplaces, as appropriate.
Moreover, the application of Rasayana (~Antioxidant) interventions also provides enough scope not only for the prevention of disease but also for the promotion of health and cure of disease. The utilization of Ramayana interventions such as Chyawanprash can be endorsed for health promotion and disease prophylaxis in the broader population. The inclusive utilization of all these treatment modalities significantly affects lifestyle disorders as a whole.
Ayurveda understood the importance of the ecosystem for human health way back. It talks about water pollution, air pollution, earth pollution, etc. It is well understood how they affect human health and contribute as a causative factor in various disease pathologies. The science also speaks about prevention and remedial measures to combat such entities. Ayurveda also talked about climate changes and natural calamities. The root cause of such ecosystem disturbance is linked to “Adharma” by human beings. “Adharma” means irresponsible or ignorant behavior toward society and the environment.
Ayurveda considers the health and well-being not only of humans but also of plants, animals, and the environment. Along with the prominent eight branches of Ayurveda, other Ayurveda branches such as Vrukshayurveda (Ayurveda for plants), Pashuayurveda (Ayurveda for farm animals), Hastiayurveda (Ayurveda for elephants), etc., were also evident in the past but due to various colonial invasions have lost their place in the routine practice. It is a time to reintroduce, support, fund, and research these age-old practices for a sustainable ecosystem.
| Healthcare Industry|| |
Healthcare has been a priority sector, and with the current pandemic situation and the crisis and challenges of existing healthcare mechanisms, it is time to look forward to how the healthcare needs of ordinary citizens will be met. The present pandemic has brought about a lot of innovation in the healthcare sector, and integrating Ayush systems with conventional medicine has led to significant clinical outcomes.
The private sector is foremost responsible for most Ayush healthcare services in India. Most healthcare expenses are paid directly out of pocket by the patients and their families rather than through health insurance. Ayush healthcare services can be covered under health insurance if we bring together the government authorities, healthcare and wellness industry, technology providers, health and wellness start-ups, etc., on transforming lifestyle through innovative health and wellness strategies utilizing Ayush systems with technology-driven solutions and digital applications. This approach mobilizes multiple sectors, disciplines, and communities at varying levels of society to work together. This way, new and better ideas are developed that create long-term, sustainable solutions.
| Discussion|| |
The holistic approach of Ayurveda, by treating the patient as a whole, with interventions targeted toward complete physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being makes this science an excellent option for managing lifestyle disorders and has the potential to tackle future virus outbreaks. We must bring back this lost holistic way of thinking to fill gaps in our current biomedical healthcare delivery model. The lifestyle practices of Ayurveda, such as Dinacharya (~daily regimen), Ritucharya (~seasonal regimen), dietary habits and etiquettes, Ayurvedic food, and Nitya Rasayana (~daily rejuvenating herbs), can prove to be beneficial if applied at larger population throughout the nation in the preventive domain. Integrative treatment strategies and protocol approaches, along with the conventional medical system in many chronic diseases, can also reduce the public treatment cost.
More corporate companies are drawing their attention to the wellness of their employees. Ayurveda has a vast potential to address the need of the health and wellness sector. The next generation should embrace the Indian wellness traditions in every walk of life. Thus, holistic well-being is the need of the hour.
One health system policy should aim to formulate an integrative health system, under which patients should have the option to adopt treatment from any medical system and even has the freedom to adopt both the therapy at the same time depending on their pathology and the stage of the disease. They can also avail strategies to prevent the occurrence of diseases. The idea is to provide a need-based, uniform, and standard therapy to every patient across the country and to provide prevention strategies, with the objective not of depriving anyone of beneficial interventions that are not precluded by availability, affordability, and accessibility. The policy should have a more extensive scope to combine the traditional wisdom of Ayurveda with areas such as agriculture, veterinary, food, water purification, soil health, etc., for environmental health. It is a time to reintroduce the untouched area of ancient wisdom in the health and ecosystem domain to get a more sustainable and healthier environment.
| Conclusions|| |
The policy would relieve the patient of the burden of choosing their preferred healthcare providers/the system best suiting their needs. The inclusion of Ayurveda principles into the present healthcare system will shift ’Pathy centric health care into “patient-centric health care, where each person’s healthcare needs are considered primary. Ayurveda will help prevent many lifestyle disorders and provide cost-effective holistic treatment for many chronic diseases. It would be consumer-focused, with services specially designed for consumers’ needs. The policy should also promote the other untouched areas of Ayurveda for a healthy ecosystem.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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