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Prof. Kanakavalli: Note on Siddha in HWCs

Note from the Prof. Dr. K. Kanakavalli, Director General, Central Council for Research in Siddha, Arumbakkam, Chennai.

Question 1.

Are the Siddha practitioners in a position to prescribe their standard treatment protocols that are already validated in the Siddha stream, at the Health and Wellness Centres to address all the standard tasks (maternal health, non-communicable disease, and so on). AYUSH practitioners posted at Health and Wellness Centres would also be required to attend to central government and state government disease control programmes, besides any other preventative programmes as per requirement.

Answer 1.

Yes, the Siddha Practitioners based on the training imparted during the Bachelor of Siddha Medicine and Surgery (B.S.M.S) curriculum and experience gained during the Compulsory Rotatory Residential Internship (CRRI) will certainly be able to handle the Standard Treatment Protocols available in the Health and Wellness Centres. In Tamilnadu, the Health and Wellness Centres are under the administrative control of Directorate of Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy (DIM &H), Govt. of Tamil Nadu. We now learn that standard treatment protocols were prepared but yet to be provided to Siddha consultants working in HWC. The exact number of HWC’s functioning as on date would also be available with DIM& H. Central Council for Research in Siddha (CCRS), an autonomous organization functioning under the Ministry of AYUSH is an apex body for research in Siddha system of Medicine. CCRS is constantly working towards developing Standard Treatment Guidelines (STG) for various diseases. Some of the works done by CCRS is as follows :

a. Standard Treatment Guidelines (STG)s in respect of Siddha for malaria, dengue fever, Influenza, hepatitis, Encephalitis, Prevention & Treatment of Substance Abuse, Including Narcotic Drug Abuse and Nutritional need of children, pregnant & lactating women and geriatric population have been prepared.

b. STG in respect to external therapies in Siddha have been published as Siddha Protocols and OUTcomes (SPROUT) for Siddha External Therapies.

c. Recently, the Ministry of AYUSH has published Siddha Treatment Guidelines for Covid -19

d. An Intra Mural Research (IMR) project entitled “Development of Siddha Treatment Guidelines for Non-communicable Diseases (DSTGNCD)” have been completed which addresses Siddha treatment guidelines for
Heart diseases, hypertension, obesity, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, anemia, mental disorder, urolithiasis and polycystic ovarian diseases have been completed.

e. Standard Treatment Guidelines (STG) for Skin diseases – Psoriasis & Ring worm infection, orthopaedic disorders such as lumbar spondylosis & osteo arthritis and Neurologic ailments – Hemiplegia & Migraine have been prepared.

Question 2:

At this first point of contact, there will be patients needing emergency attention, that will require some immediate curative steps to be taken. Some very real-world instances were cited in the Note circulated, example, a  aemorrhaging appendicitis, respiratory distress turning into viral pneumonia, a case of infant encephalitis, or the onset of a thrombotic stroke. Do the AYUSH doctors feel equipped to handle suchlike emergency cases. What manner of additional exposure / training would they require in order to begin handling suchlike cases?

Answer 2.

Siddha doctors definitely require training to handle Emergency cases as cited in the real-world scenarios. Moreover, they need to be taught to diagnose these emergency conditions including differential diagnosis. For example, they need to interpret an Echocardiogram (ECG). Additionally, life saving techniques like Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
(CPR), should be taught and hands on training must be provided too. In toto, they must be equipped with the skillset needed o save lives. In the long run, it is better to equip the undergraduate students itself on “Emergency Diagnosis and Management”. During Compulsory Rotatory Residential Internship (CRRI), at least 3 months of posting in Emergency handling exposure is warranted.