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Hakeem Muhammad Khalid Siddiqi
‘Unani can be effective in AIDS’

'The objective of Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, set up in 1979 is to promote the all-round research work on different aspects of Unani system of treatment. This institution has performed various feats during the past two decades, though there are many people who are very closely associated with Unani system but who are not fully satisfied with the performance of this institution. The reason probably is that this institution has not lived up to the high expectations people entertained about it. But there is no institution with which hundred percent people are fully satisfied. Director of CCRUM, Hakeem Muhammad Khalid Siddiqi spoke to MG on performance of this pristine system:

What do you think about the Council's achievements so far?
The Council has made remarkable progress in its assignments during the brief period 20 or 21 years. More than seventy publications based on the results of research works have been brought out.

Which diseases have been subjected to research so far?
Under the clinical research programme, CCRUM is busy carrying out research work on various diseases which have been given priority by the government and their results have been encouraging. Among these diseases, positive results have been found for diseases like leucoderma, rheumatism and some others.

In addition to these, the Council is giving special importance to what other things?
An ambitious scheme of the Unani Council is the discovery of medicines and curative herbs etc and their cultivation. For this purpose medicinal plants are being surveyed and research work in this direction is going on in Central Research Institute at Hyderabad, regional centres at Chennai, Srinagar, Lucknow, Patna, Aligarh.

Successful treatments of which diseases have been discovered so far in Unani medicines?
Unani system can be successful and effective in cases of all old and chronic diseases. Unani medicines can play an important role in case of diseases relating to heart and digestion. Dangerous diseases like AIDS can also be treated by Unani system of treatment because AIDS results when the immune system of the body is attacked as a result of weakness of resistance power of the body. The very basis of Unani treatment is strengthening of resistance power of the body, thereby enabling it to fight the diseases.

It is said about Unani system that it is confined to Muslims only. How far it is true?
About 75 percent of the patients in all our centres are non-Muslims. For example, the government has set up a clinic of Unani system of treatment at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in which about 300 patients come every day and most of whom are those who are referred to by the hospitals. Greater number of these patients are non-Muslisms. 
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