Dreaming of Health for All in an Unequal World: Finding a Fit for Traditional Health Care Exemplified Through Ayurveda
“Health for all” had been a long cherished dream. Although officially taken up and proposed in 1978 at Alma-Ata, the concept was there in the core ideology of the WHO since its inception. Now after passing through many phases and decades of developments and working on the goal, we see that goals have not been met yet. This realization of remaining short of the goal is clearly reflected through the WHO theme for the 2018 World Health Day calling for “Universal Health Coverage: Every One, Every Where,” admitting that health is still a dream for many at many places in the world. It is largely observed that health-care needs, besides having a universal nature, also have a local and dynamic flavor. The health-care need of now may not remain same after few decades, and similarly, on some aspects, health-care needs may be grossly different in a resource-rich country compared to a resource-poor country. Local resources and culture are essential to be respected to develop a long-term, sustainable model of providing health care to such people who are ethnoculturally distinct from others. Respecting native and traditional health-care systems prevalent in such regions could be the key to expand the reach of universal health-care coverage as is dreamt by the WHO now. This chapter reviews Ayurveda, a traditional health-care system of repute in the orient, for finding the practical ways to involve it more realistically in obtaining the long-cherished goal of health for all by defining the responsibilities and by preparing the system to effectively execute the responsibilities for a common objective.
KeywordsHealth for all Ayurvedic health care Preventive health care Promotive health care
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