Health Literacy Essential; Soumya Swaminathan


World Health Organisation Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan emphasised the need for health literacy for the people and also called for more research in the health sector. She said this while speaking at the 4th Global Ayurveda Fest.

She pointed out the need for a people-centered health system. The people should have awareness of the disease, prevention and health and their opinion valued. Progress in health sector can come only then, she said. The countries should focus on these aspects, she said and called for more research.

She pointed out that the tendency prevailing to underestimate Ayurveda and other traditional therapies. All these streams have a big role in preventing life style diseases. She pointed out that all the streams of treatment should not fight against each other. On the other hand, they have to look into the possibilities of providing health to the people, she added.

Swaminathan said that the Global centre coming up in the country under the auspices of WHO will help in extensive research in the area.

The 4th Global Ayurveda Festival is held online. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Festival on Friday, March 12.

About 35 foreign academics and researchers and more than 150 scientists from the country are attending the fest. They will attend various sessions of the Conclave in five virtual platforms on eight days. International seminar, global exhibition and business meet on Ayurveda products and services are the key highlights. The fest will see 1150 research papers.


Apart from research benefits, the key area of focus of the seminar include policy formulations and reforms connected with Ayurveda in different countries. Kerala, known as the cradle of Ayurveda, are the organizers of the GAF.

The focal theme of the meet is Strengthening Host Defence System –Ayurveda A Potential Promise. The conference will attempt to elucidate recent developments in the understanding of immune and inflammatory processes that determine the host defence vis-a–vis the core principles of Ayurveda and thereby point to new directions for the prevention and treatment of infectious and inflammatory diseases.

More information on the virtual summit is available at www.



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