AYUSH & WHO to work together on traditional medicine system

Under the long-term collaboration, both would take up mutually agreed activities and initiatives that encompass multilateral collaboration for promotion of complimentary medicine systems

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NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi has given its approval to the agreement for collaborative activities to be signed in the area of traditional medicine between Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India and the World Health Organization, Geneva.

The agreement with WHO comes in the backdrop of a presentation by Ministry of AYUSH before the PM Modi on July 03, 2014, where he had desired that the Ministry should seize the opportunities for taking a lead in the world at a time when holistic health care has gained currency.

As per the Ministry of AYUSH, PM had stated that India should strive to compete with China, when it comes to export of herbal medicine. It was emphasized that roadmap be prepared to establish India’s credentials in holistic health-care, including preparation of authoritative and credible literature.

The long-term collaboration with WHO would help in improving international acceptability and branding of Ayush systems, facilitate awareness generation regarding AYUSH systems of Medicine by means of education, skill development, workshops, publications and exchange programs between AYUSH and WHO for capacity building, facilitate advocacy and dissemination of information on AYUSH systems amongst the Member States; collaboration with third Parties for creating synergies in implementation of WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023 particularly in the context of AYUSH systems.

The expenditure for carrying out collaborative activities will be met from the allocated budget under the existing plan schemes of Ministry of AYUSH.

The activities will start subsequent to the signing of agreements by the two parties as per terms of reference mutually decided. As a first step in the long-term collaboration, India would assign to WHO activities for development of the following WHO technical documents/publications which will help in better international acceptability of Indian Systems:

  • Benchmarks for training in Yoga;
  • Benchmarks for practice in Ayurveda;
  • Benchmarks for practice in Unani Medicine; and
  • Benchmarks for practice in Panchakarma

The agreement between WHO and AYUSH is expected to benefit the practitioners of AYUSH systems.

Given the strategic importance of collaboration between India and WHO for enhancing global positioning and acceptability of Traditional Systems of Medicine recognized in India (including Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, Yoga & Naturopathy, Sowa-Rigpa and Homeopathy), Ministry of AYUSH and WHO should foster a long-term relationship.