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  • Research in Debrecen — with a Method from India

    On Thursday, Rector Zoltán Szilvássy presented Professor Madhaw Singh Baghel, Head of the new Department of Ayurveda at the University of Debrecen, to press and media representatives.

    “The close connections of the University of Debrecen with corporations in the health industry as well as the broad spectrum of programs offered by our institution have played a significant part in the decision of AYUSH to open their European center in Debrecen,” announced Rector Zoltán Szilvássy on Thursday at a press conference held at the University of Debrecen, where Professor Madhaw Singh Baghel , the Head of the Department of Ayurveda to be established at the university, was also introduced.

    Rector Szilvássy added that experts from India had spent quite some time looking for a location in Europe where programs in medicine, the humanities, food production, and natural sciences would be offered simultaneously. The new Department of Ayurveda is going to be established in the Institute of Pharmacology and Pharmatherapy on the foundations of the Division of Chinese Traditional Phytopharmacology but several other faculties of the university will also contribute to the program: the Faculty of the Humanities, for example, is planning to launch language courses in Hindi and Sanskrit. This cooperation is supported generously by the Hungarian-Indian intergovernmental agreement, which provides funding for the program, including covering the salary of the department head, paid by the Indian government. 

    Professor Madhaw Singh Baghel said that the objective of AYUSH (Department of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) in Europe is to justify the efficiency of Ayurvedic medicine through research and to combine the traditional Indian practice with the methods used by Western medicine. A panel of Indian experts had visited a pool of universities in several European cities before they finally made a decision in favor of Debrecen.

    “Ayurveda is the science of life, with a history of more than five thousand years in India. It is based on the simple recognition that most illnesses can be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle. While modern medicine focuses on treatment, Ayurveda handles prevention and healing together. We can efficiently care for patients with diseases that represent a serious challenge to Western medicine, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease,” said Madhaw Singh Baghel.

    The Indian professor added that, in Ayurveda, the individual features as well as the personality of the patients are also taken into account when compiling a treatment tailored to the specific needs on the one hand, while on the other hand, prescribed medication is also more effective when taken in combination with switching to a healthier lifestyle.

    On the subject of the new cooperation, Zoltán Szilvássy said that the students of UD had already received some perfunctory information on traditional Asian medicine, as it had been part of the curriculum for a number of years, but now they would have the chance to delve deeper in this body of knowledge. Apart from the students, even practicing physicians will be given an opportunity to get themselves familiar with the methods of Ayurveda.  According to the Rector, the first results of these joint efforts would be experienced in the various fields of research, as an example for which he mentioned the examinations related to the nervous system conducted at the University of Debrecen, and would be spread more widely in everyday patient care only after some time. He also added that there would be more visitors coming to Debrecen from India at the beginning of next year. In February 2015, for example, there are going to be negotiations with the representatives of pharmaceutical companies, who will assess the possibility of establishing a new plant based on the body of knowledge available at the university and the accredited cluster built around our institution.
    Professor Madhaw Singh Baghel (61) is Director of Ayurvedic Postgradual Teaching and Research Institute at Gujarat Ayurved University, in addition to acting as head of the WHO Center focusing on Ayurvedic medicine. He is fluent in four different languages, and has a background of 33 years in education, 12 of which he has spent as a director. Gujarat Ayurved University, founded in 1967, is located in the city of Jamnagar, Province of Gujarat, and is recognized as a prestigious center of Ayurvedic medicine in India.

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