The central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh is one of the largest by area, and has a population of about 70.5 million. It is one of the poorest states with 49% of its population living below the poverty line. Its health indices, with infant mortality rate at 70 and the maternal mortality ratio at 335 are well below the national average. The Madhya Pradesh Health Sector Reform Programme (MPHSRP) aims to bring about structural and qualitative changes in health access, infrastructure and quality.
The Hon'ble Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, is instrumental in bringing about a new approach that combines traditional and modern methods to tackle public health issues. This is essentially so because relying wholly on modern medicine will involve too much spending on resources, both human and infrastructure.
This is where, a traditional, cost-effective and simple science like Ayurveda can step in. Ayurveda can work wonders in a state like Madhya Pradesh and can fast-track the process of achieving its public health goals. The fact that the state is endowed with a rich and varied range of medicinal plants, found in its thick forest cover, will surely aid this process. This resource coupled with ubiquitous, indigenous knowledge of traditional medicine, and the wide availability of qualified Ayurvedic physicians, make Madhya Pradesh an ideal place to propagate Ayurveda widely among the masses.
The deliberations and the outcomes expected out of the 5th World Ayurveda Congress, to be held in Lal Parade Grounds, Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh, will further strengthen the state's health sector reform programme.