The World Health Organisation on Friday announced that it will set up a Global Centre for Traditional Medicine in India. The global health body’s Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made the announcement in a video message at an event on the occasion of the 5th Ayurveda Day.

Ghebreyesus said the centre will “strengthen the evidence, research, training and awareness of traditional and complementary medicine.”

He added that it will implement WHO’s traditional medicine strategy 2014-2023, which aims to support countries in developing policies and action plans to strengthen the role of traditional medicine.

Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it was a matter of pride that the world health body chose India to set up the centre.

“I would like to thank the WHO and particularly its Director General Tedros for giving this responsibility to India,” the prime minister said. “This centre for traditional medicine will become the centre for global wellness.”

Modi also inaugurated two Ayurveda institutions, Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda in Gujarat’s Jamnagar and National Institute of Ayurveda in Rajasthan’s Jaipur, via video conferencing on the occasion.

The Ministry of AYUSH has been observing Ayurveda Day every year, since 2016 on the occasion of Dhanwantari Jayanti, the birth anniversary of the Hindu god of medicine. This year the day was celebrated under the theme of ‘Ayurveda for Covid-19’.