C20 Summit on Integrated Holistic Health Inaugurated at Amrita Hospital, Faridabad

 The Integrated Holistic Health Summit of Civil 20 (C20), one of the official Engagement Groups of the G20, has been inaugurated at Amrita Hospital, Faridabad by Shri Manohar Lal, Chief Minister of Haryana.

Dignitaries present during the inaugural ceremony included Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar, Union Minister of State for Power and Heavy Industries; Shri Ranjit Singh, Haryana’s Minister for Energy; Shri Rajesh Nagar, MLA, Tigaon, Faridabad and Dr. Manoj Nesari, Advisor, Ministry of AYUSH.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization, addressed the delegates virtually. Former Health Ministers from countries such as Argentina, Rwanda, and Malawi, were also present at the Summit, along with Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri, Vice Chairman, Mata Amritanandamayi Math and Troika Member C20, as well as Vijay K. Nambiar, C20 Sherpa. 

Addressing the audiences, Shri Manohar Lal, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Haryana, said: “Health is a basic necessity of life that leads contentment among people, contributing to the overall Happiness Index. We need to develop and adopt traditional systems of health so that we do not fall ill at all. While Government budgets are high for treatment of disease, there is not enough attention on staying healthy by prevention of disease. We in Haryana have started focusing on both physical and mental health of people. We have made a program to open wellness centers, including Yoga and Ayurveda, in each village. Work on 700 such centers has already begun. Due to the use of chemicals, pesticides and pollution, food, and environment are now leading to disease. We need to turn them into medicine again by reverting to traditional systems.”

Shri Manohar Lal said: “Haryana should have 28,000 doctors, according to WHO norms, but currently has less than half that number. We intend to open a medical college in every district of the state to increase this count. Work has already started on opening medical colleges in every district of Haryana, except four. We have also applied for permission to start an integrated course of Allopathy and Ayurveda. Both practices should work together.”

Said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization: “We are halfway to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There are many challenges ahead to reach the SDG health targets. Even before Covid 19, billions of people missed every year on essential health services either because they couldn’t access them or afford them. The Pandemic has set us further back. We saw 90% of countries reporting disruptions in essential health services. Covid 19 has shown why universal health coverage is so important and why we must pursue it with even more determination, innovation and collaboration. That is why one of the WHO’s top priorities is to reorient health systems towards primary healthcare and foundation of universal health coverage and health security. Integrating evidence-based traditional medicine into national health systems can contribute to achieving health for all.”

Said Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri, Vice Chairman, Mata Amritanandamayi Math and Troika Member C20: “Doctors should find time to do meditation to tap into their intuitive mind and spiritual energies, much like our ancient Ayurvedic physicians and seers. To spread goodness and health, they need to mix medication with meditation, as that would lead to a qualitative shift in both the doctor and the patient. If the Group of 20 countries became ambassadors of Goodness (Goodness 20), that will tremendously benefit the developing and underdeveloped countries. It will help goodness to prevail in a hurting world, and all will be good.”

The dignitaries also released two new platforms at the event, named Digital Shiksha for Advanced Clinical Capacity Learning (DiShA) and We Are with You. DiShA is India’s first case-based simulation learning platform for critical care in public health created by Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham through USAID funding. “We are With You” is a public portal that provides informative content such as videos, articles, testimonials, contact details for public and private mental health organizations, helpline numbers, discussion forums, and blogs in English and major regional languages, aimed at connecting people with the mental healthcare they need.

During the two days of the Summit, delegates from more than 700 CSOs, health professionals, educators, and leaders from across the public health landscape would participate in discussions and workshops that will directly impact the policy recommendations that will be launched at the C20 Summit in July 2023. The sessions would focus on seven key areas of public health including mental health, nutrition, women’s and children’s health, elderly care, holistic health approaches, One Health, and the reduction of non-communicable diseases.

 In her message to the delegates at the inaugural ceremony, C20 Chair Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma), said: “Integrated healthcare is a part of the C20 process. Today, most people perceive health only as related to the physical body. However, human existence is not merely at the level of the body. Mental, intellectual, and emotional health are also important. Over and above, we must acknowledge the strength of the all-pervasive spirit, the ātma-śakti, that imbues everything with consciousness. When one gives all these factors equal importance in one’s life, the meaning of healthcare becomes complete.” 

She added: “Modern medicine and treatment systems are certainly important and have their place. However, real healthcare is not just seeking medical treatment when sick. In reality, Nature is our closest friend because we ourselves are Nature. Therefore, moving in harmony with Nature is most important for holistic health. Without connecting to Nature and without Her blessings, holistic health is impossible.”

Amma said: “If we want a lasting solution to the atrocities humankind is facing today and will have to face in the future, we should be willing to change our internal climate. What is happening in the external environment—be it global warming or climate change—is but a reflection of the harsh climate in our minds. Let us all proceed to work selflessly for the world’s welfare. May this world grow and prosper as one family, united in love.”

Coordinator of C20 Working Group on Integrated Holistic Health, Dr. Priya Nair of Amrita Hospital, said: " Despite the overbearing presence of COVID19, the major causes of deaths and morbidity continue to be Ischemic Heart Disease, stroke, cancers and chronic

respiratory diseases. With this background, the C20 Working Group, Integrative Holistic health, has identified seven domains aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), addressing 12 of the 13 SDG targets alongside the FCTC and MPOWER of the WHO. The Working Group aims to identify, articulate, discuss and address key health challenges in the domains of mental health, women and children health, nutrition, non-communicable disease, One Health, elderly care and end-of-life care and holistic health (traditional and alternative forms of medicine, including Yoga and meditation). This would help suggest policy frameworks to address the same for the betterment of society in general. We seek to both illuminate how best to reinforce global healthcare systems and their attendant gaps while also redefining ‘health for all.” 

The preliminary discussions held during the online policy events of the Working Group on Integrated Holistic Health would be continued in Faridabad over two days, as the participants finalize the list of solutions, along with the examples of best practice (Udaaharans) as proof of concept. These discussions will prove vital to drafting a well-rounded policy pack that will directly impact the policy recommendations that will be launched at the C20 Summit in July 2023.

The G20 (Group of 20) is a forum comprising 19 countries and the European Union. It works to address major issues related to the global economy. C20 provides a platform for Civil Society Organizations (CSO) around the world to voice people’s aspirations to the world leaders in G20.  

More information about the IHH Summit is available at https://c20.amma.org/integrated-holistic-health-summit-faridabad/

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