‘Contribution of Ayush doctors in fighting Covid has been exemplary’

Ayush doctors have been in the forefront of the efforts against Covid-19 ever since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Published: 17th August 2020 07:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th August 2020 07:45 AM   |  A+A-

Ayush doctors have been in the forefront of the efforts against Covid-19 ever since the outbreak of the pandemic. They work in isolation facilities, Covid Care Centres, fever clinics etc. Their contribution in running Apthamitra, the dedicated Covid helpline of the Government of Karnataka, has been noteworthy. The work being done by them has been exemplary.

A word about what can be learnt from Ayurveda on ways to tackle the pandemic may not be out of place. The treatises of Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita contain explanations about pandemics under the heading Janapadodhwamsa. The mode of transmission in such pandemics has been explained under the heading Aupasargika Roga by Sushrutha. Even in those days, there have been references to covering the face during sneezing, yawning and laughing.

There are also references about moving out of the contaminated area and avoiding contact with fellow human beings (social distancing). The ultimate breakthrough for the virus may not be an either/or situation between modern and traditional medicine but a happy integration of the two. Modern medicine may prolong life but the quality of that long life is altogether another paradigm and consists mainly of a balance of the physical, mental and spiritual elements, which is what Ayush is all about.

The article (August 5)  — ‘Ayush doctors not trained to  take care of critical patients’ — by Dr K R Antony,  is yet another example of how public discourse can be adversely affected by information which is not rooted in facts. The article criticizes the recruitment of Ayush doctors by BBMP for manning the Covid Care Centres (CCC). The criticism rests on the plank that Ayush doctors are not trained in critical care and do not have the knowledge to administer IV drips, oxygen support etc.

The purpose of setting up CCCs is to take care of asymptomatic positive patients or those having mild symptoms without serious comorbid conditions. They are designed to cater to the bulk of patients who do not require higher care and are a part of a well thought-out strategy of the government to free up hospital beds for those who are in need of critical care.

To this end, the government has brought out detailed guidelines on the functioning of the CCCs.  Further, the doctors manning the CCCs are a mix of MBBS, Dental and Ayush systems who work under the overall supervision of a senior MBBS doctor. Apart from this, there are nurses and other support staff. The need for an Ayush doctor to administer IV drips or oxygen does not arise as there are qualified nurses to do so.

 Meenakshi Negi
Commissioner, Health Department, Ayush Health and  Family Welfare


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