It is one of the paradoxes of Afghan society that while the population has great belief in traditional herbal medicine, and the hills of the border regions abound in medicinal herbs, there are no medical colleges which specialize in herbal medicine. This lack of symmetry between supply and demand has led to preponderance and unqualified physians, something that the Unani Tibbiya College, or the Traditional Herbal Medicine department of the Mahad’ad-Dawa Institute seeks to address by producing fully-qualified hakims – herbal medicine physicians.
Unani Tibb (Tibbi Nabavi – Medicine of the Prophet or Traditional, Herbal Medicine; five years):
The Unani Tibbiya College of Mahad’ ad Dawa fulfils the strong need in the area which it serves for a Tibbiya college concentrating on reviving the practice of herbal – known as Unani – medicine in the region. The practice of this medicine is an extremely apt occupation for an Islamic scholar, seeing that herbal medicine as also become known as Tibb-e-Nabavi – Medicine of the Holy Prophet – over the ages. Added to this, the hills of the border regions are blessed with medicinal plants, and the masses have great faith in herbal medicine, but up till now there is a lack of qualified herbal practitioners.
Mahad’ ad Dawa makes up for this deficiency by putting on a five-year course in Unani Tibb, in accordance with the syllabus of Jamia Hamdard in Delhi. Besides recruiting teachers from its own catchment area, Jamiya attracts highly qualifed teachers from the great centres of Unani Tibb, including Aligarh Tibbiya College, and Jamia Hamdard in Delhi. Since Unani Tibb is a new academic discipline in Afghanistan, and there is no regulatory authority for Unani Tibb, the Unani Tibbiya college of Mahad’ ad-Dawa conforms to the standards of the Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopaphy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India as well as the Centre for Research in the Indian System of Medicine (CRISM) at the University of Mississippi, USA.
Besides imparting education and practical training in Unani Tibb, the Mahad’ ad-Dawa Tibbiya College also produces, imports and markets herbal medicine, fulfilling a need in society for high-quality herbal medicines and in the process boosting the income of Jamiya:
- Pre-Tibb (One year of Chemistry, Physics, Botany and other Basic Sciences preparing madrassah students for the four-year Tibb course)
- Four year course in Kamil-e-Tibb-o-Jarahat (BUMS), qualifying a student for practicing Unani Tibb
- Two-year Bachelor of Pharmacy course (Unani)