Current Status

Introduction

Unani Medicine or Yunani Medicine is an alternative system of medicine that originated from Greek Medicine but subsequently evolved to have a philosophy of its own. The Unani System of Medicine has a long and glorious history in many countries worldwide. It was introduced to many parts of the world with the spread of the Islamic civilization. In this system of traditional medicine it is believed that disease is a natural process and the symptoms are the reactions of the body towards the disease. Unani, in simple terms, is an ancient medical system of holistic and natural healing. It is commonly known as Greco-Arab medicine or Tibb-e-Unani.

Present Status of Unani System

The Unani System of Medicine is mainly practiced in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. In India and Pakistan the Unani System of Medicine is second to the primary health care system. The governments of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have well-established Unani health care system and education. 

India

In India, the Unani system of Medicine was introduced by the Arabs and soon it became very popular because of its efficacy and cost effective treatments. The Unani System of Medicine in India is very thriving and is regulated & governed by Central Council of Indian Medicine and Ministry of Social Welfare of India. India is the leading country in the world with the largest number of educational institutions, research hospitals and general Unani medicine hospitals nationwide. The Unani Medicine forms an integral part of the Indian national health care delivery system with the following statistics: 

Health Care  

No. Information Total [1]
1 Number of Unani hospitals in India 269
2 Total number of beds in Unani hospitals in India 4894
3 Unani dispensaries in India 1146
4 Unani Pharmacies in India 338
5 Registered Unani practitioners in India 51,067

Education 

India is the first country in the world to provide an effective, comprehensive legislation for governing the education and practice of Unani Medicine. The Indian Medicine Central Council Act 1970 by Parliament of India regulated uniform standards of education and Unani medicine practice.

No.  Information Total [1]
1 Number of government Undergraduate Unani colleges in India 39
2 Number of government Postgraduate Unani colleges in India 6
3 Number of Autonomous / Private Unani colleges in India 27[2]

Research

Research in Unani Medicine in India is under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. In 1979 Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM) was established.[3] This is an autonomous organization and its function is to conduct, develop, aid and coordinate scientific research in Unani Medicine.[4][5]

Institutes working under CCRUM [6]:

 

No. Information Total
1 Central Research Institute 1
2 Regional Research Institutes 7
3 Clinical Research Units 11
4 Drug Standardization Research Units 5
5 Family Welfare Units 2
6 Literary Research Institutes 1
7 Central Herb Garden & Museum 1
8 Chemical Research Unit 1
9 Information Centre 1

 

Research Projects of CCRUM 

The diseases selected for study and research, are those for which there is no known cure or are difficult to treat using conventional medicine.  

Presently 20 diseases are under study with 47 Unani Medicine formulations in India under the various institutes as listed above.  

Some of the diseases currently under CCRUM research projects are vitiligo, urolithiasis, bronchial asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes mellitus malaria, filariasis and amoebiasis.[6]  

The Central Research Institute of Unani Medicine located in Hyderabad is the most famous regional CCRUM research centre. Currently, it is doing research on vitiligo. There are about 18000 cases of vitilago have been treated mostly from all over India and some from other countries. The result obtained ranged from 60% to 89% cure.[6]  

Mobile Research Projects of CCRUM 

CCRUM carries out mobile research program for health needs of the weaker sections of the Indian society. Under this program 291 villages in different parts of the country have been covered and a total of about 600 000 cases of common ailments are treated with Unani medicines.  

Unani Herbal Research Program 

CCRUM program of Unani herbal research is mainly focused with the standards for single and compound Unani drugs of proven efficacy. The Council has taken up this work for the first time in the history of Unani Medicine. So far there are 50 singles and 208 compounds Unani drugs have been standardized. This work has been published in the form of monographs: 

  1. 1.CCRUM Delhi published a monograph entitled Standardization of single drugs of Unani Medicine Part I based on standards for 50 single drugs.
  2. 2.CCRUM Delhi published two volumes on physicochemical standards of Unani formulations, each covering 100 drugs.  

Literary Research Project 

CCRUM currently published Urdu translation of some important rare manuscripts/ classical literature of Unani system of medicine from Arabic/Persian. These include Kitab al Abdal, Ainae Sarguzisht, Kulliyate Ibne Rushd, Kitabal Jame ii Mufradat (Vol. 1), Kihb at Taisir and Kitabul Umda fil Jarahat (Vol. 1), edited Arabic text of Kulliyate Ibne Rushd. 

Medicinal Plants Survey Project 

CCRUM presently is conducting Medicinal Plants Survey in the forest areas of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Orissa, Jammu and Kashmir. 

A regional CCRUM Central Herb Garden and museum is functioning at Lucknow Uttar Pradesh, for collection, preservation and display of genuine Unani medicinal plants. 

Information Centre 

Currently CCRUM has an Information Centre that is dedicated in gathering the scattered literature on Unani system of medicine and allied sciences. A quarterly newsletter is also published by the center. CCRUM very recently published “A Handbook of Common Remedies in Unani Medicine” in seven languages i.e. Arabic, English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and Punjabi. 

CCRUM Pharmacy

CCRUM manufactures Unani drugs and is being subjected and regulated through Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940.[7] India is the world’s first country to have a Unani Pharmacopoeia Committee in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. This committee aims at preparing an official Unani Pharmacopoeia of India. Now, there are six volumes of National Formulary containing 1091 drugs and also six volumes of Unani Pharmacopoeia of India with 298 drugs. In the Unani Pharmacopoeia of India, the drugs are divided into two types, single drugs with a total of the above (298) drugs, while the second type are compound drugs with 100 formulations with two volumes. There are also plants that have gone through chemical investigations (122 plants) for its medicinal properties.[8]  

Pakistan 

In Pakistan, Unani system of Medicine was introduced mainly before partition of the sub-continent. As the years passed by, National Council for Tibb e Unani is formed under the Autonomous Departments of Ministry of Health Pakistan. In the year 1965, National Council for Tibb e Unani regulated Unani, Ayurvedic and Homoeopathic practitioners act, commonly called as UAH Act 1965. Currently the Unani system of Medicine is very well established all over Pakistan. National Council for Tibb is a corporate body, which regulates and governs Unani, Ayurvedic and Homoeopathic Practitioners Act, 1965. Unani system of Medicine in Pakistan is recognized by the Ministry of Health Pakistan.[9] 

Health Care

No. Information Total [9]
1 Number of Unani hospitals in Pakistan 57
2 Total number of beds in Unani hospitals in Pakistan 260
3 Unani dispensaries in Pakistan 360
4 Unani Pharmacies in Pakistan 95
5 Registered Unani practitioners in Pakistan 52,600

Education

There are 26 Unani Medicine Colleges in the private sector and 1 college in the public sector offering Unani Medicine courses.  National Council for Tibb e Unani is the regulatory body which prescribes the curriculum and regulations for Unani medicine training and education.[9] The curriculum is revised and standardised by the Higher Education Commission under the Ministry of Higher Education Pakistan. 

Research 

Research in Unani Medicine in Pakistan is under the Ministry of Health and National Council for Tibb e Unani Islamabad. The National Council for Tibb e Unani has various research programs on regional and national levels in Pakistan.[10] Besides, the Hamdard University of Pakistan also conducting research on Unani medicine.[11] 

Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, Unani System of Medicine was introduced in 1970 by the Hamdard Foundation Pakistan. The Bangladesh Unani and Ayurvedic Practitioners Ordinance 1983, under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, regulate it. The Department of Unani system of Medicine in Bangladesh is called as Board of Unani and Ayurvedic Systems of Medicine.[9]

Health Care

Currently the Board of Unani and Ayurvedic Systems regulates all the government and private Unani medicine hospitals in Bangladesh.

No. Information Total [12]
1 Present number of Unani hospitals in Bangladesh 1
2 Total number of beds in Unani hospitals in Bangladesh Affiliated accordingly to each college
3 Unani dispensaries in Bangladesh
4 Registered Unani practitioners in Bangladesh 2,230

 *100 beds hospital for each college.

Education

The number of Unani Medicine colleges in Bangladesh is very low, where there are only 3 Unani Medicine Colleges in the private sector and 1 college (Government Unani and Ayurvedic Degree College) in the public sector offering Unani Medicine course.[11] The Directorate General of Health Services Dhaka (DGHS), Bangladesh under the Ministry of Higher Education, governs the Unani Medicine colleges. 

Research

Research in Unani Medicine in Bangladesh is presently under the DGHS. The government recognizes that medicinal plants are part of the Ayurveda, Unani medicine and the folk’s medicine. In fact there are over 5000 species of higher value plants, with over 500 recognized species having ethnomedical values. The Ministry of Health of Bangladesh started planting medicinal plants in hospitals and clinics throughout the country as part national tree planting initiative in 2003. The 467 herbal gardens are presently functional with variety of medicinal plants for research purposes, under the management of the DGHS.[13] This move was made in line with the government’s policy on herbal culture. University of Dhaka is one of the universities contributing to development and research in Bangladesh’s natural products since 1964. The Faculty of Pharmacy (formerly known as Department of Pharmacy) has embarked on several bioactive guided investigations adopting multifarious bioassays such as analgesics, anticancer, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activities, which are being conducted in isolating bioactive principles from medically important plants.[14] 

Sri Lanka 

The Unani System of Medicine is introduced in Sri Lanka very recently in the year 1984 by the mutual co-operation of Ministry of Health and Social Welfare India and the Ministry of Indigenous Medicine Sri Lanka. The Unani system of Medicine in Sri Lanka is very well established under the Ministry of Indigenous Medicine Sri Lanka. The Ministry of Indigenous Medicine Sri Lanka regulates and governs the education, practice and production of Unani Medicine in Sri Lanka.  

Health Care 

No. Information Total
1 Number of Unani hospitals in Sri Lanka 1
2 Total number of beds in Unani hospitals in Sri Lanka 100
3 Unani dispensaries in Sri Lanka 230
4 Unani Pharmacies in Sri Lanka 2
5 Registered Unani practitioners in Sri Lanka Not available

Education 

Currently there is only one college in Sri Lanka presently providing Unani Medicine course. It is the Institute for Indigenous Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka which is managed by the Ministry of Indigenous Medicine of Sri Lanka.[15]  

Research 

Bandaranaike Memorial Ayurveda Research Institute is the research institute for Unani medicine in Sri Lanka. The Ministry of Indigenous Medicine Sri Lanka manages it. This research institute is the platform for the recent research activities in Unani Medicine in Sri Lanka.[16]  

References

  1. Dept. of Ayurveda Yoga & Naturopathy Unani Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India  Summary of infrastructure under ayush.  [Online]. Available from: http://indianmedicine.nic.in  [Accessed 25th March 2011]
  2. Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM). Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. Available from http://www.ccimindia.org  [Accessed 24th October 2011]
  3. CCRUM. Establishment of CCRUM. [Online]. Available from: http://www.ccrum.net [Accessed 18th April 2012].
  4. Dept. Of Ayurveda Yoga & Naturopathy Unani Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India  Research Councils. [Online]. Available from: http://indianmedicine.nic.in [Accessed 25th March 2011].
  5. Dept. Of Ayurveda Yoga & Naturopathy Unani Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India. Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM), New Delhi. Status of ISM Colleges for the year 2009- 2010.  [Online]. Available from: http://www.mohfw.nic.in [Accessed 25th March 2011]
  6.  The American Institute of Unani Medicine Unani Facts . [Online]. Available from: http://www.unani.com   [Accessed 24th October 2011.]
  7. Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM). Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India.  Present Status: Drug Control. [Online]. Available from: http://www.ccrum.net/about/present-status/drug-control/ / [Accessed 24th October 2011].
  8. Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM). Unani Pharmacopeia Committee. [Online].  Available from: http://www.ccrum.net/research/upc/ [Accessed 21 March 2012]
  9. World Health Organization (WHO). Legal Status of Traditional Medicine and Complementary/Alternative Medicine: A Worldwide Review. Geneva: WHO; 2001.
  10. Ministry of Health, Government of Pakistan. National Council for Tibb. [Online]. Available from: http://202.83.164.25/wps/portal/Moh/ [Accessed 30th July 2012].
  11. Hamdard Research Institute of Unani Medicine Hamdard RIUM . Introduction. [Online]. 2012. Available from: http://www.hamdard.edu.pk [Accessed 3rd June 2012].
  12. Bangladesh Unani & Ayurvedic Board. Present status of herbal medicine in Bangladesh . [Online]. Available from: www.ics.trieste.it  [Accessed 24th October 2011].
  13. Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Alternative Medical Care. [Online]. Available from: http://nasmis.dghs.gov.bd/ [Accessed 2nd April 2012].
  14. Handa S.S., Rakesh D.D., Vashisht K. Compendium of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Asia. Volume II. ICS UNIDO: Italy; 2006. p. 123-125.
  15. The Institute of Indigenous Medicine. Homepage.  [Online]. Available from: http://iim.cmb.ac.lk/unani  [Accessed 24th October 2011].
  16. Ministry of Indigenous Medicine Sri Lanka. Bandaranaike Memorial Ayurveda Research Institute. [Online]. Available from: http://www.indigenousmedimini.gov.lk [Accessed 1st August  2012]. 
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