WHO, AYUSH Ministry sign agreement to advance traditional medicine

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of AYUSH have signed a five-year agreement to boost the development of new technical documents on traditional, complementary, and integrative medicine (TCI) by WHO. The agreement was signed last Friday at the Permanent Mission of India in Geneva. 

“The collaboration will contribute to the globalization of evidence-informed traditional, complementary, and integrative medicine, and bring proven TCI practices to the mainstream in national health systems, thus achieving universal health coverage and well-being,” said Dr. Bruce Aylward, Assistant Director-General of the Universal Health Coverage and Life Course Division of WHO.

“India is committed to working with WHO to strengthen Traditional Medicine Systems globally and especially in supporting fellow developing countries in promoting their traditional medicine systems. The signing of this agreement will also ensure biodiversity conservation and the sustainability of medicinal plants,” said Indra Mani Pandey, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations. 

The new agreement is the third in a series of such agreements and will see the Government of India work alongside WHO to develop benchmarks for training and practice in Siddha, training modules on the quality and safety of herbal medicines, and for the international herbal pharmacopeia among other activities over the next five years. 

The latest development comes as a result of the Gujarat Declaration launched during the first traditional global summit held in Gujarat earlier this year aimed at initiating collaborative efforts to make traditional medicine an important component of national health systems.

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