Health

Alternative treatments must conform to rigorous tests: THSTI director Gagandeep Kang

Photo: Twitter/@moayush

Photo: Twitter/@moayush  

She was addressing a function organised by the Department of Science and Technology to commemorate National Science Day.

Alternative medical systems such as homeopathy could be tested for potential cures provided they conformed to protocols of clinical trials, Gagandeep Kang, director, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI) , said on Friday.

Ms. Kang was a keynote speaker at a function organised by the Department of Science and Technology to commemorate National Science Day.

Her comments assume significance in the light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has claimed at least 2,800 lives around the world. The Ministry of AYUSH, on January 29, issued an advisory advocating a slew of homeopathic, unani and ayurvedic panacea for preventive treatment against the viral infection.

Ms. Kang, the first Indian woman to be elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of London, said: “Irrespective of the methodology followed, there’s now a well-established protocol to determine if a treatment works and any potential therapy or medicine has to undergo rigorous testing and we should adopt those methods,” she said in a response to an audience question on whether homeopathy medicines boosted the body’s immunity.

The ongoing pandemic would encourage international collaborations, sharing of data and consolidation of resources to research better vaccines, she added.

President Ram Nath Kovind, who was the chief guest at the function, lamented that India’s R&D workforce was only 15% women compared to a global average of 30%.

“Only a small proportion of women study and pursue science to contribute to the field,” he said in his address.

 

The basic purpose of National Science Day is to spread the message of the importance of science. “It is through science and technology that we can effectively address challenges of the environment, healthcare, energy for equitable economic growth, food and water security, and communication; to name a few. Challenges before us today are multifold and complex,” he added.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 12:59:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/alternative-treatments-must-conform-to-rigorous-tests-thsti-director-gagandeep-kang/article30945327.ece

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