The Union Ministry of Ayush and the World Health Organization South East Asia Regional Office (WHO SEARO) signed a Letter of Exchange (LoE) for the deputation of an Ayush expert to WHO’s regional traditional medicine programme in New Delhi.
The Ayush secretary Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha and Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director of WHO South-East Asia Region (SEAR), signed the agreement.
The initiative has been taken to support the WHO SEARO implementing the regional traditional medicine action plan, with particular emphasis on the safe and effective use of traditional medicine service including Ayurveda and other Indian traditional systems of medicine and its appropriate integration into national healthcare systems. Efforts will also be made to strengthen capacities of SEAR countries in the area of traditional medicine, said the statement issued by the Ayush Ministry.
It will also be a joint effort of the Ayush Ministry and WHO in helping countries in the South-East Asia Region to develop policies and implement action plans to strengthen the role of traditional medicine.
“The close collaboration of WHO and the Government of India goes back many decades, to the Basic Agreement both parties concluded on 16 July 1952, to fulfill mutual responsibilities in a spirit of friendly cooperation. Today’s agreement will formally extend this cooperation into the area of traditional medicine, which is a valuable tool in our shared quest to achieve universal health coverage”, said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh.
Secretary Kotecha said that Ayush has already had various interactions with WHO in the field of Ayurveda, Yoga and other Indian traditional systems of medicine and these Indian systems are getting more popular and being accepted as medicinal systems in South-East Asian countries, Africa, Europe, Latin America and others.
As a major outcome of this partnership, Union Ministry of Ayush and WHO would be working to identify various challenges faced by the member states of SEAR (region) in regulating, integrating and further promoting of Traditional Systems of Medicine in the respective countries. Further, Ayush and WHO will assist member states to develop appropriate policy/regulation framework, exchange of information/activities performed for integration of traditional medicine in public health and dissemination of information about traditional medicine to the community, he further stated.
The Ayush Ministry and the WHO SEAR office also agreed to launch a public health research project on Covid-19. The project is jointly supported by WHO-SEARO and the Ayush Ministry.