The Government of India has opened new AYUSH-ICMR Advanced Centre for Integrated Health Research (AI-ACIHR) across the country’s select All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).  

The four AIIMS locations chosen to host these advanced centres are AIIMS Delhi, Nagpur, Jodhpur and Rishikesh.  

AIIMS Delhi will have ACIHR in Gastro-intestinal Disorders and in Women and Child Health, AIIMS Nagpur will host ACIHR in Cancer Care, while AIIMS Jodhpur and Rishikesh will have AI-ACIHR in Geriatric Health.  

Inaugurated by India’s Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, the AI-ACIHR aims to foster collaboration between various medical systems, leading to integrated health research. 

This initiative marks a significant step towards integrating traditional AYUSH systems with conventional biomedicine and modern technology to enhance patient outcomes through innovative diagnostics, preventive, and treatment methods. 

Some of the main objectives of AI-ACIHR include identifying areas where integrative medicine can be impactful, conducting research to provide solid evidence, and developing guidelines for integrated health care pathways and cross-referrals. 

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The development of integrative management protocols combining traditional and modern medicine practices is another key objective.  

Once developed, these protocols will be based on evidence from priority disease areas and will include mechanistic studies to elucidate the integrative medicine approach. 

Mandaviya said: “Ayurveda is a part of our culture, heritage and tradition. It is still being followed in our everyday practice.  

“This strategic collaboration aims to advance Integrative Health Research, integrate traditional AYUSH practices with modern medical science and take India to forefront of holistic healthcare innovations.”  

Besides, Mandaviya announced other significant joint initiatives between the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of AYUSH.  

These include a multicentre clinical trial on anaemia and the launch of Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) for AYUSH healthcare facilities. 

The IPHS for AYUSH healthcare facilities is designed to establish uniform standards for infrastructure, human resources, and medicines, ensuring quality AYUSH healthcare services across states and union territories.  

The overarching goal is to bolster the spectrum of public health services, adhering to the high-quality standards set out in the National Health Policy 2017, which promotes the integration of pluralistic approaches in healthcare.