AYUSH & WHO to develop standardized terms, benchmarks for Ayurveda, Traditional Medicine

The Ministry of AYUSH is hosting two World Health Organization (WHO) meetings during the last week of November and first week of December this year at the Institute of Post Graduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda (IPGT&RA) at Jamnagar in Gujarat, and another in Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga & Naturopathy in New Delhi.

The first of the two meetings, WHO-International Experts Consultation Meeting (IECM) from 26 to 29 November, shall host 51 selected international experts (from all six WHO regions) of Ayurveda, Unani and Panchakarma, as well as Traditional Medicine practitioners, researchers, health policy makers, regulators and administrators.

The second meeting, WHO Working Group Meeting (WGM) from 2 to 4 December, shall host 42 selected international experts (from all six WHO regions) of Traditional Medicine literary research, and other related academics including different language experts (Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and Tamil) with specific knowledge and experience in working in the area of Traditional Medicine languages and scripts.

WHO is developing Benchmarks Document for Practice of Ayurveda, Panchakarma & Unani and International Terminologies Documents in Ayurveda, Siddha & Unani as part of its global strategy to strengthen the quality, safety and effectiveness of Traditional and Complementary Medicine (T&CM).

Development of this benchmarks document is included in the Project Collaboration Agreement (PCA) signed between WHO and Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India, on Cooperation in the field of Traditional and Complementary Medicine (T&CM) under WHO strategy on T&CM covering the period 2014-2023.

The consultation meeting of international experts (IECM) on the benchmarks for practice is a continuation of the Working Group Meeting (WGM) WHO organized on the same subject during the September of 2018 at National Institute of Ayurveda at Jaipur.

The practice benchmark documents are expected to serve as international benchmarks for qualified practice of Ayurveda, and Unani. They will frame the safety requirements for practicing Ayurveda, Panchakarma, and Unani and provide qualifying criteria for practitioners of Ayurveda and Unani among addressing other details and nuances of medical practice.

These documents shall serve as reference to national authorities to establish and strengthen regulatory standards and ensure practice of Ayurveda, Panchakarma, and Unani, and assure patient safety.

The purpose of the WHO Working Group Meeting (WGM) is to review, comment and revise the draft documents prepared on the Standard Terminologies of Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha by a select group of nine experts.

The WGM shall help in arriving at an international consensus regarding the structure and content of each of the documents, including on occasions, consensus on the meanings and definition of words used in these systems.

The documents are expected to provide a list of terms in the respective systems; their definitions (short or explanatory descriptions as required) including contextual meanings of the terms; classical usage of the terms with references to the definitions’ suggested English terms; synonyms; and even define exclusions to the meanings of the term in medical context.

The documents shall cover terms related to basic principles, fundamental theories, human structure and function, diagnosis, pathologies, patterns, and body constitutions, pharmacognosy, pharmacology, preparation of food and medicines, therapeutics, and preventive and health promotion interventions, and miscellaneous terms in the respective medical systems.

93 International experts are being invited from nearly 30 different countries (Covering all six regions of WHO) including Japan, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, Mauritius, Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania, UAE, Iran, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Latvia, Austria, Denmark, Russia, Hungary, USA, Canada, and Argentina.

Last week, AYUSH Ministry announced that it has teamed up with global health agencies to promote Ayurvedic medicines.


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