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Friday, September 4, 2009

The Institute of Health and Tibbi Research (December 3, 1966)

The portrait shows the celebrated herbal physician of East, Hakim Ibn-e-Sina, engrossed in preparing notes for his famous book Canon of Medicine. The word “Pakistan” appears at the left side of the stamp in Bengali, Urdu and English. The word “Postage” appears at the right side of the stamp in English. The value, Paisa 15 appears at the top right. The name of the commemorated- Physician Hakim Ibn-e-Sina together with the dates of his life span (980-1037) is shown beneath the portrait. The words “Health from Herbs” appear centrally at the foot of the stamp.
The commemorative postage stamp will be available for sale on and from December 3, 1966 for a period of three months at all important Post Offices in Pakistan, Philatelic Bureaux at Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Dacca and Philatelic Counters at Chitta-gong, Dacca, Hyderabad, Karachi, Khulna, Lahore, Landikotal, Lyallpur, Moenjodaro, Multan, Murree, Peshawar, Quetta, Raj-shahi, R.B. Mangla S.O., Saidu Sharif, Sialkot, Sukkur, Sylhet, Taxila Museum, E.D. B.O, Torkham, Wah Cantt. S.O., and some of the Pakistan Diplomatic Missions abroad. Thereafter, if supplies are still available, they will be sold only at the Philatelic Bureaux and Philatelic Counters mentioned above.
To commemorate the establishment of the Institute of Health and Tibbi Research and the laying of its foundation stone by the President of Pakistan, Field Marshal Mohammad Ayub Khan, N.Pk., H.J., on December 3, 1966, a stamp bearing the portrait of Hakim Ibn-e-Sina, who was the founder of the Greco-Arab School of Medicine (Tibb-e-Unani) is being issued by the Pakistan Post Office. Tibb-e-Unani is the con-tinuation and revivification of Greek (Ionian or Unani) medicine by the Arabs who infused life and vigour, empiricism and rationality to make it a scientific system of medicine. Tibb has been dy-namic, absorbing within it everything that was of proven value. This process of synthesis and fusion of all that was good was start-ed in the 10th century AD by pioneers of Tibb like Hakim Ibn-e-Sina, Al Razi, Averroes, Jabir Ibn-e-Hayyan, Albucasis, Alkindi, Mesue Senior and other personalities. They based the system on the Hippocratic humoral theory—that every person has a unique humoral constitution which represents his healthy state. Any change in this brings about a change in his state of health. Great reliance is placed on the power of self-preservation and adjustment (viz. Medicatrix naturae) which strives to restore any disturbance within the limits prescribed by the constitution of the individual.
Hakim Ibn-e-Sina (Avecenna) is the greatest physician and philosopher that the Arab culture ever produced. His contribution to medicine is unparalleled in history. His best known work is the Canon of Medicine, an encyclopaedia and text book of medicine in the Universities of Europe and the Orient for hundreds of years. Currently in some European and Asian countries, research and investigation into the theories, therapeutics, medicines and formulae of the Canon is being car-ried on. it is his likeness that adorns the diploma of the Phar-maceutical Society of Great Britain.
The actual treatment of disease in Tibb-e-Unani is by regimen, drugs and operative interference. Drugs are mainly and chiefly herbal in nature. They are prepared by the Greco--Arab system which is “Polypharmaceutic” in the sense that it is based on what has now come to be known as “combination therapy”. One of the great intuitive arts is that of herbs. For thousands and thousands of years man has been accumulating a certain kind of very effective wisdom about the desirable effect of green things—things not usually considered food— upon undesirable conditions of his body. These are the green medicines of nature. This lore constituted all the medical and therapeutic wisdom man had, until knowledge of chemical reaction began to creep in, and surgical techniques were establish-ed in snail like fashion. But primarily it is the herb that cures man’s cough, reduces his fever, relieves his aching back and quiets his nerves. It is too well known that the whole herb heals ; synthesis may destroy. Today more and more people are returning to the natural medicines of our forbears, to the simple herbs “which were given to the healing of Nations”. The pharmacopoeia of today is: merely the great grand-child of the herbal of the sixteenth century and that in turn is but the accumulation of thousands of years of native, pragmatic wisdom about the values of herbs. Some of the miracle-cure-herbs of today are not discoveries but recoveries of wisdom that our forefathers had for thousands of years e. g. saffron, ephedrine, etc. Our country is also very rich in medicinal herbs and plants and health can be found in them for diseases of body and mind. Tibb-e-Unani which reached its zenith in the 13th century has to be resuscitated and revived as it is generally believed that it is quite capable of serving the cause of national health. Tem-peramentally, constitutionally and economically, we are better suited and adjusted to Unani medicine. However, there is no question of the negation of what is good in modern medicine and surgery. The correct solution of our health problems, therefore, lies in starting at once investigation and research on the various methods of treatment and to adopt everything of proven value, with the help of modern techniques and procedures developed in the course of the last 2 or 3 decades and thus to revive Tibb. The Institute of Health and Tibbi Research has, therefore, been visualized by Hakim Mohammad Said, to serve this purpose. The aims and objects of the Institute would be
(1) to foster and promote health education and preventive measures against disease;
(2) to promote and provide facilities of medical aid and treatment
(3) to engage in scientific appraisal of the principles and practice of the various systems of medicine and therapy;
(4) to establish and administer research centres for carry-ing out systematic interdisciplinary studies in drugs of vegetable, animal and mineral origin.
The scheme includes (1) a fully equipped and staffed hospital through which medical advice and aid will be provided to the ailing people; (2) a Central Drugs Research Centre for carry-ing out research in all types of medicinal herbs and plants and would include chemical, biochemical, pharmacological, physio-logical and pharmacolognosical research; (3) a College of Medicine devoted to the study of different systems of Medicine; (4) a fully equipped Library having about 5 lakhs of books on Health Education, Health and Hygiene Medicine (ancient and modern) Medical Research, Drug Research and plants and herbs.