Research Institute to protect traditional medicine
A new institute has been established for research and the
preservation of Sri Lanka's traditional medicine ('hela wedakama') under
the Ministry of Indigenous Medicine.
The institute, named Hospital and Research Centre for Traditional
Medicine' is located at Mihinthale in Anuradhapura, where the ruins of
Sri Lanka's oldest hospital was found by archaeologists.
"We received Rs. 50 million through the budget for research and
preservation of Sri Lanka's traditional medicinal practices and
treatments. It is our aim to protect this valuable knowledge," Secretary
to the Ministry of Indigenous Medicine Lalith Kannangara said.
"There was no specialized place for ayurvedic doctors to learn and
exchange knowledge on Sri Lankan traditional medicine. The practice was
declining and there was an urgent need to preserve the knowledge which
is a national asset," Kannangara said. He said traditional medicine for
the treatments of eye ailments, burns poison and orthopaedic treatments
are fast fading from the medical history of the country. "There are
special treatment methods among the indigenous community which needs
special research and attention to understand the principles," he said.
According to him many families where these traditional medicine was
passed from generation to generation are losing their roots. "The
younger generation do not wish to be traditional medicine practitioners
and the palm leaf manuscripts ('puskolapoth') where the ancient
medicines are written are being destroyed due to negligence.
Another attempt of the Ministry is to collect these palm leaf
manuscripts make, them readable and preserve them with the help of
experts on these writings and medicine," Kannangara added.