- By Dr.Than Lwin Tun, Nay Nay Naing Ye, May Thazin, Thandar Win (Ministry of Health and Sports)
The University of Traditional Medicine(UTM,which is located in Aungmyaytharzan Township of Mandalay Region, is only one university of Myanmar traditional medicine. The Ministry of Health and Sports (MoHS) managed university under the Department of Traditional Medicine. The university offers a five-year program including a one-year internship and confers a BMTM -Bachelor of Myanmar Traditional Medicine) degree and 2 year MMTM -Master of Myanmar Traditional Medicine degree. It began as Myanmar Traditional Institute in 1976 and was founded as a University in December, 2001. Myanmar Traditional Medicine has been set up to include medical aspects of the teachings of Theravada Buddhism and Myanmar traditional philosophy and belief. Myanmar traditional medical practices have also developed, through successive generations, in line with natural herbal resources and scientific studies.
The Department of Traditional Medicine (DTM) has been providing medical care to the people and produced qualified practitioners by establishing the Traditional Medicine University. To promote traditional medicine, the DTM is working with the Traditional Medicine Council, the Myanmar Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association, and advisers for Traditional Medicine. The Department has been making efforts for improving Myanmar traditional healing practices, by encouraging experienced and learned practitioners, and working to rediscover highly effective traditional healing practices, valuable herbs, highly valuable medicinal plants, and natural herbal and mineral resources of medicinal value written on ancient scriptures written on stone (kyauk Sar) and palm leaf manuscripts (Pay Sar).
The Union Minister of MoHS has encouraged the traditional medicine professionals to develop standardized methods of therapeutic methods and to identify ways and means for new therapeutic agents and medicine, as well as to guided the development of standardized curricula, teaching methods, research, creative learning environment, attitudes and practices of the teachers, e-library, documents and traditional treatises. As a part of support to implement the above activities, the MoHS awarded Professor Emeritus, Honorable Professor and Visiting Lecturer Certificates to retired professors and teachers of the University of Traditional Medicine on 8th June, 2019. It was a very first time in the history of UTM. A Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Traditional Medicine which will serve as a think tank for holistic perspectives of traditional medicine was also founded. In conclusion, the 8th June 2019 was an auspicious day for traditional medicine professionals and acknowledged and appreciated the retired professors and teachers who actively participated in traditional medicine society and energetically contributed for progress of the University of Traditional Medicine. This awarding ceremony is the very first-time event in Myanmar. This day is honored and recorded as a historic day for the University of Traditional Medicine, Mandalay.