ith the outbreak of the novel coronavirus last year across India, everybody was flat and anxious, struggling to know about the cure and prevention for the disease in absence of the requisite treatment and vaccines. Local researches and expert medicos suggested different precautionary measures from time to time to tackle the spread of disease.
In North Kashmir’s Kupwara district in addition to the efforts of administration and medicos, an AYUSH (an acronym for Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) Unit based in 3 room single-storey building in the premises of Sub District Hospital Kupwara reached out to around 1 lakh people with immune boosters as it was suggested by experts as a preliminary remedy to tackle the spread of the disease.
The AYUSH Unit was established at Kupwara in 2013 as part of the countrywide Mission of the AYUSH ministry Government of India purposed with developing education, research and propagation of indigenous alternative medicine systems in India.
“The newly-introduced AYUSH an Indian System of medicines’ Kupwara Unit has treated more than 1 lac patients alone. There are alike 3 Units of AYUSH in the district, each at Kupwara, Handwara and Langate. The Ministry has around 28 dispensaries under AYUSH mission functional across the district,” said Dr Altaf.
Under AYUSH traditional and herbal medicines are used to treat different diseases. Dr Shabir Ahmad Bhat, who heads AYUSH Unit at Kupwara.claims that the medicines and herbs used to treat different diseases are side effects free as chemical-based medicines have side effects and should not be used in all circumstances. He maintains that they can’t overrule the use of chemical-based medicines as they have their own significance. “Chemical based medicines are effective in emergency and trauma treatment.
Bhat adds that AYUSH treatment takes time to cure some diseases but there cannot be any effective treatment without having side effects but AYUSH. “Regimental therapies and Panchkarma like cupping, steam, Hamam is done in the Indian system of medicines (AYUSH) to treat ailments like Arthritis, Astro Arthritis, frozen shoulder etc.
He further informed that AYUSH’s Kupwara Unit has successfully treated several patients having sex and sexual sickness. “In addition, medical camps are held in the district from time to time in a bid to encourage people to get themselves checked for any underlying medical conditions and also impart yoga training to the patients wherever desired. Dr Seema Bashir is the only Yoga trained to serve the department in the district.”
In 2018, the foundation of a 50 bedded AYUSH hospital was laid Kulangam area of district Kupwara but to the dismay of the people of Kupwara, its construction is yet to be completed. District Development Council Chairman Kupwara, Irfan Pandithpuri while showing concern demanded immediate completion of the work and its opening in the service of the people of Kupwara.
Director AYUSH Dr Mohan Sigh told that the work on the said project was approved in 2018 but construction work started in 2020 when he joined the department as Director.
“Construction of the lintel has been completed and it may take around one and half year to complete the work on the project as such massive projects are entitled to take this much time,” said Dr Singh and added “We have got sanctioned around 1.5 crore rupees recently from the Union Ministry for the project.
The AYUSH Unit of Kupwara has bagged several state and other awards for their service in the district including Bharat Nirmaan Award. Inspired and satisfied by the work of AYUSH, people of Kupwara demand the establishment of AYUSH dispensaries in each village so that “they can avail facilities at the doorsteps.”