WHO and AYUSH ministry developing benchmarks for Ayurveda

The World Health Organisation is developing benchmark documents for practice in Ayurveda, Panchkarma and Unani systems, as part of its global strategy to provide safe, effective and accessible traditional medicine to global community.

Development of these benchmarks documents is included in the Project Collaboration Agreement (PCA) between WHO and the ministry of AYUSH. WHO working group meetings for three WHO benchmark documents scheduled 17 -19 September 2018 was inaugurated today at Jaipur. 
The three-day programme containing four sessions on each day has been organized by the ministry of AYUSH and coordinated by National Institute of Ayurveda (NIA), Jaipur.
Briefing the media on the AYUSH ministry’s activities, secretary, ministry of AYUSH, Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, said the National Ayurveda Morbidity Standardised Terminology Engine (NAMSTE) is being actively used for documentation of AYUSH facilities and activities, including recent rehabilitative activities undertaken by AYUSH during the Kerala floods. 
He further said the activities undertaken by AYUSH ministry under the government’s Ayushman Bharat Scheme and suggested that WHO may also provide assistance in this regard. He requested WHO to also help the ministry of AYUSH in developing country specific modules and applications based programme like M-Yoga and M-Ayurveda etc.
A total of 39 experts, representing 18 countries, 13 experts each from Ayurveda, Panchkarma and Unani would be reviewing the draft document developed by WHO through consultative process.
The purposes of the meeting are to review, comment and revise as required each of the three zero draft documents prepared by the experts. This is aimed at arriving at an International consensus regarding the structure and content of each of the documents. The documents are expected to provide minimum requirements for qualified practice by practitioners of Ayurveda, Panchkarma and Unani to provide minimum safety requirement for practicing these and also to serve as a reference to national authorities to establish/ strengthen regulatory standards to ensure qualified practice of such system and patients safety.
Dr Sungchol Kim, regional advisor, Traditional Medicine, WHO, welcomed all the experts and thanked the ministry of AYUSH for financial and logistic support and stressed on the need of integration of traditional medicine system in the conventional medicine system.
Dr Soumya Swaminathan, deputy director-general, WHO, stated that traditional medicines are an important integral part of the Universal Health Coverage Program, specially under Sustainable Developmental Goal-3 (SDG-3). She informed that Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani Systems have been included in 2nd Traditional Medicine Module of ICD Chapter-11 and Year 2018 is being celebrated as 40th Anniversay Year of Alma Ata Declaration.