WHO & Ministry of Ayush Signed Traditional and Complementary Medicine ‘Project Collaboration Agreement’
In a significant move towards the integration of Traditional and Complementary Medicine into global healthcare, the Ministry of Ayush and the World Health Organization (WHO) formalized a ‘Project Collaboration Agreement’ in Geneva late last night.
The primary objective of this agreement is to standardize Traditional and Complementary Medical Systems, incorporating their quality and safety aspects into the National Health System, and disseminating these practices on an international scale.
The collaboration aims to bridge Traditional and Complementary Medical Systems with the mainstream of the National Health System, a key initiative outlined in the Traditional Medicine Global Strategy 2025-34 to be prepared by the WHO with the support of the Ministry of Ayush. This strategy will play a crucial role in achieving the objective of elevating Traditional and Complementary Medical Systems within the national health framework.
Among the major goals of this agreement is the strengthening of training and practice in the field of the Complementary Medicine System, specifically ‘Siddha.’ Additionally, the formulation of guidelines for the listing of Traditional and Complementary Medicines, safety protocols, and related efforts are outlined. The Ministry, in collaboration with the WHO, will also develop an International Herbal Pharmacopoeia focusing on herbs found in South-East Asia.
Union Ayush Minister Sarbananda Sononwal expressed his congratulations, highlighting India’s rich heritage in traditional and alternative medical systems. He emphasized that this global effort would enhance India’s standing in healthcare services globally, fostering medical tourism. The minister sees this collaboration as a significant stride towards India’s recognition on the global healthcare stage.
Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Ayush Secretary, anticipates that the first phase of the agreement, spanning from 2023 to 2028, will be a milestone in the global development of Traditional and Complementary Medical Systems. Bruce Aylward, Assistant Director General of the WHO, believes that this collaboration will bring Traditional and Complementary Medicine Systems into the mainstream of India’s National Health System, contributing to global healthcare and well-being objectives.
Indra Mani Pandey, India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, signed the agreement on behalf of the Indian government. In his statement, he reiterated India’s commitment to working with the WHO to strengthen Traditional Medicine Systems globally, especially in supporting fellow developing countries in promoting their traditional medicine systems.
This marks the third collaboration between the Ministry of Ayush and the WHO, with previous agreements signed in 2016 and 2017 focusing on taking Traditional Medical systems like Yoga, Ayurveda, Unani, and Panchakarma to the global level and strengthening the Ayurveda, Unani, and Siddha medical systems, respectively.
First published on: 18 Nov 2023, 22:35 IST