Amchi healing must survive because of its vital social role in village life.
In the late 1990s, the communities of Ladakh were becoming fragmented and social mobility was on the rise. As a result, the Amchi system of Tibetan medicine was at risk of vanishing. But for at least half of this remote region’s 250,000
Ladakhis, it is the only healthcare available.<br><br>Pordié used his Rolex Award to set up a residential training school for Amchis in Ladakh, which eventually led to government recognition of Tibetan medicine (which is
based on Buddhist cosmology and influenced by Asia’s own holistic medical traditions).<br><br>Each Amchi needs four years of instruction and a year of practical work to become qualified. Pordié and his colleagues from the
research and development agency Nomad RSI established medicine banks and health centres, and ran seminars and training workshops. Ladakh now has 15 centres supplying herbal medicines, which are managed by former students.<br><br>He
now lives in France where he is a Senior Researcher at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). In 2012, he founded the international network PharmAsia to study industrial herbal medicine.