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AYUSH ministry, WHO SEARO ink pact to bolster traditional medicine in S-E Asia

The AYUSH Ministry and the World Health Organization’s South East Asia Regional Office has signed a Letter of Exchange for the deputation of an AYUSH expert to WHO’s regional traditional medicine programme in New Delhi, according to a statement issued here on Monday.

AYUSH Secretary Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha and Regional Director of WHO South-East Asia Region Poonam Khetrapal Singh signed the agreement, it said.

The initiative aims to support the WHO South-East Asia Region in implementing the regional traditional medicine action plan with particular emphasis on safe and effective use of traditional medicine service, including Ayurveda, and its appropriate integration into national health care systems.

Efforts will also be made to strengthen capacities of South East region countries in the area of traditional medicine, the AYUSH ministry statement said.

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.

At the ceremony, Singh said the close collaboration of WHO and the Government of India goes back many decades, to the Basic Agreement both parties concluded in 1952 to fulfil mutual responsibilities in the 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,” she said.

Kotecha said the AYUSH ministry has already had various interaction with the WHO in the field of ayurveda, yoga and other Indian traditional system of medicine.

These Indian systems are getting more popular and being accepted as Medicinal system in the South-East Asian, African countries, European and Latin America nations, the statement said.

As a major outcome of this partnership, the Ministry of AYUSH and WHO would work to identify various challenges faced by the member states of SEAR in regulating, integrating and further promotion of traditional systems of medicine.

Further, the ministry and WHO will assist the member states to develop appropriate policy, regulation framework, exchange of information and activities for integration of traditional medicine in public health and dissemination of information about it to the community, the AYUSH secretary said.


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