The Indian government’s first pan-India AYUSH survey

Benchmarking traditional medicinal practices and systems

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The Coronavirus pandemic has again taught us the importance of public health. The Indian Government is ready to conduct the very first of traditional Indian medicinal systems in the country – the AYUSH survey.

A few weeks ago, the government of India said that it was going to conduct the very-first AYUSH survey. The objective is to gather data and information about the penetration and awareness among the entire population, of the Yoga, Ayurveda, Naturopathy, Siddha, Unani, Homeopathy, and Sowa-Rigpa health and curative practices collectively described as AYUSH systems.

According to the statement of the Ministry of Statistics & Program Implementation, this survey will be the first all-India AYUSH survey. Data will be collected over an entire year by the State Directorates of Economics & Statistics and The National Statistical Office together.

As per the Household Consumer Expenditure survey, NSS 68th round, 2011-12, an attempt was made for getting some awareness about how the AYUSH system of medicine is practised by households. Also, a survey of the Household Social Consumption of Health, NSS 75th round, took place in 2017-18. However, thus far there has not yet been any comprehensive and dedicated nationwide AYUSH survey.

The AYUSH survey and CAMS

Two subjects are included in the NSS 79th Round of the Socio-Economic Survey – The Comprehensive Annual Modular Survey (CAMS) and the AYUSH Survey. The CAMS 2021 is designed for collecting data for constructing several vital socio-economic indicators that have gained importance in the last few years.

On the one hand, AYUSH will collect information for the development of several significant medicinal practice parameters while CAMS will feed the emerging need for the information on top-frequency socio-economic indicators that aren’t available from other sources like the administrative data. Also, it will offer the information required to monitor the social development goal indicators’ performances.

The data will be gathered from a sample of about 3 lakh households in 12,000 urban blocks and villages in the central sample and an almost similar number in the in-state sample. The survey is going to cover the entire Indian Union except for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which are not as easily accessed.

AYUSH could play a vital role in terms of offering quality medical care and health care to Indian citizens. Currently, there is a receptive environment where the value of AYUSH systems in healthcare is recognized widely. Several reforms in research strategies, administrations, nature of education, and practice are already underway at the Ministry of AYUSH.

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