Indian Minister visits Tobago

THA Chief Secretary Orville London (centre) presides at a meeting between the health sectors of Tobago and India at his Calder Hall Administrative Complex yesterday. (18th October 2012) On his right is the Indian Minister of State for Health and Family Services S. Gandhiselvan.
The Government of India wants to initiate dialogue for meaningful outcomes in the medicinal plants sector and the signing of a separate Memorandum of Understanding between Trinidad and Tobago and India on the issue.

This was stated by the Indian Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare S. Gandhiselvan during a meeting with THA Chief Secretary Orville London yesterday (Thursday 18th October 2012) at the Calder Hall Administrative Complex, Scarborough. Gandhiselvan headed a five member Indian delegation on a one-day visit to Tobago.

Gandhiselvan said he was really impressed with the richness of the flora of this country and has been informed that there were many medicinal plants, which were common to Trinidad and Tobago and India. He added: “Let us work together with institutional mechanisms from both sides to harness the nature-given resources for health care and tap the potential of economically and therapeutically important medicinal plants grown in this region.”

He said the National Medicinal Plants Board of India would be happy to collaborate and cooperate in providing technical know-how and expertise for sustainable development of medicinal plants in this country.

Gandhiselvan said the possible areas of cooperation were research and development in the field of medicinal plants by documenting and validating local traditional knowledge associated with medicinal plants, identification of active ingredients, bioactivity fractionation, sustainable harvesting; imparting training for scientists and officials in medicinal plants by designing specific modules, identification of resource persons, imparting training in India at the Pharmacopoeial Laboratory of Indian Medicine and organising visits to field and laboratories; and assisting in the conservation of medicinal plants by providing technical support for identifying site, complete identification and documentation of the species and formulation of a management plan.

Indian High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago Malay Mishra said there were over 100 medicinal plants in Tobago that have not been identified and developed and suggested the development of wellness tourism for Tobago.

Chief Secretary Orville London noted that Tobago has had close relations with the Indian High Commission and looked forward to an even closer collaboration in the future.

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