The AYUSH Ministry has signed a Letter of Exchange (LoE) with the Southeast Asia Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO). It is for the commission of an AYUSH expert to the regional traditional medicine program of WHO in New Delhi.
Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, the Secretary of AYUSH, and Poonam Khetrapal Singh, the Regional Director of WHO Southeast Asia Region, signed the agreement.
This drive will aim to support the Southeast Asia Region of WHO in coming up with the regional traditional medicine action plan. It will especially emphasize the effective and safe use of traditional medicine services. This will also include Ayurveda. It will highlight the appropriate combination of the medical service into national health care systems.
According to the AYUSH ministry, there will be efforts to build up the capacities of South East region countries. This will be in terms of traditional medicine.
This will be a joint effort of WHO and the AYUSH Ministry. They will help the Southeast region countries develop policies. They will also help execute proper action plans to build up the role of traditional medicine.
Singh added that the close association of the Government of India and WHO dates back several decades. It goes back to the Basic Agreement that both the parties concluded in 1952.
This agreement was to fulfill correlative responsibilities in the spirit of friendly cooperation. Singh said, “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.”
According to Kotecha, the AYUSH Ministry had multiple interactions with WHO. These were in the fields of yoga, Ayurveda, and several other Indian traditional medical systems.
Many countries are accepting these Indian medicinal systems. Some of these countries include:
- African countries
- Southeast Asian countries
- Latin American nations
- European nations.
As a result of this partnership, WHO and the AYUSH Ministry will work to recognize different challenges that the member states of the SEAR face. These challenges include integrating, regulating, and additional promotion of traditional systems of medicine.
In addition, WHO and the ministry will help the different member states in several ways. These will include:
- Developing appropriate policies
- Regulation framework
- Exchange of various information
- Different activities for the integration of traditional medicine in public health
They will also work towards spreading information about traditional medicines to the entire community.