Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and AYUSH, Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday announced funding of over Rs. 100 crore to boost AYUSH healthcare in Nagaland. The minister said this while inaugurating the State’s first-ever Integrated Ayush Hospital (IAH) at Razha Chedema, Kohima.
Meanwhile, the AYUSH ministry Friday in a communiqué informed that the project will cover setting up of one 30-bedded AYUSH hospital at Kiphire and 10-bedded AYUSH hospitals each at Mokokchung, Dimapur and Wokha.
Further, in order to give a fillip to higher education in AYUSH in the region, the funding will also cover setting up a state-of-the-art Ayurvedic College at Longleng, at a cost of around Rs 70 crore, the ministry said.
Addressing the inaugural programme of IAH at Razha Chedema, Sonowal said the Northeast had an immense potential to become a hub in the AYUSH sector and whose huge potential needed to be tapped.
He expressed confidence that the region could become the springboard for AYUSH in the country through creation of an ecosystem to provide health and wellness solutions to people across India, besides the neighbouring countries. This would benefit the entire community, he added.
Sonowal said that the AYUSH Ministry was making a sincere attempt to unlock the rich biodiversity wealth possessed by the Northeast, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi also had a vision to unlock this potential to empower the people of the region and help it become the driver of the new growth engine of India.
At the Prime Minister’s directive, he mentioned that Union ministry was investing Rs 172 crore in Nagaland and Mizoram for developing the AYUSH sector and build 10 AYUSH hospitals and one Ayurvedic college in these two States.
Asserting that traditional medicines had been helpful in people since time immemorial, he said attempts were being made to preserve them through modern scientific approach and tools so that they could be useful for generations to come.
To preserve and conserve traditional medicines in the region, Sonowal said the AYUSH Ministry was conducting a multi-centric research project to critically appraise and validate local health traditions (LHT), oral health traditions (OHT) and ethno-medicinal practices (EMP) among ethnic communities of the Northeast.
In his address, Phom remarked that with the inauguration of IAH, the State would have three fully functional AYUSH hospitals, while two more hospitals were in pipeline and under construction.
He said five dispensaries were functioning as AYUSH Health & Wellness Centres (HWCs) and meeting the needs of the people.
He said the Rs 9.17-crore IAH project was sanctioned in 2018 and was spread over an area of 3.50 acres. He thanked the Ayush Ministry for funding and developing the infrastructure in the common people’s doorsteps.
He maintained that Nagaland being a developing State, it would need financial and logistic support from the Centre to explore the rich flora and fauna and undiscovered available resources.
Phom also noted that there were no more landowners but only land donors, and urged the village councils to settle land issues.
In his brief address, Urban Development & Municipal Affairs adviser Dr Neikiesalie Nicky Kire claimed that changes had indeed come to the State in the past few years. He said the service of IAH would not remain confined to the locals but would encompass all the Nagas and called for more unity and understanding among the people.
Giving an overview of the project, H&FW principal secretary Amardeep Singh Bhatia said IAH included dispensary, four OPD rooms, an emergency room, male and female wards, Panchakarma room and multipurpose hall for yoga.
He informed the gathering that there were 25 regular AYUSH doctors and 121 contractual doctors, while there were about 650 documented medicinal herbs in the State.
Zadiwheto Zechu also addressed the gathering on behalf of the village council.
Earlier, principal secretaryH&FW, Amardeep Singh Bhatiadelivered the welcome address and project overview, while principal director H& FW, Dr. Neikhrielie Khimiao chaired the program and director (Family Welfare) Dr. Thorhusie Kathiry proposed the vote of thanks.
Rev. Neivilie-o Zuyie, pastor Chedema Baptist Church invoked God’s blessing. A special number was presented by Keziah Semy and Sakhabama youth cultural troupe presented a cultural song. Host of legislators and senior government officials also attended the programme.
Techno-economic study on rivers for waterways
Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal Friday said that a techno-economic feasibility study of rivers in the State would be carried out very soon. He said this while responding to a query on the detailed project report submitted by state transport minister P Paiwang Konyak on Tizu-Zungki National Waterway-101 on Thursday.
He said the Centre will take up the National Waterways project in Nagaland as the State government had already submitted a proposal.
With Centre planning to develop a network of inland waterways of the river systems in the country, he stressed that besides being a cheaper mode of transport, the inland waterways would also help cargos move faster.