Ayush ministry, WHO discuss benchmarks for Yoga training

The ministry of Ayush and the World Health organisation (WHO) are jointly organising a three-day working group meeting for reviewing the WHO document `Benchmarks for Training in Yoga’ from 26 to 28 February 2019 at New Delhi.

The meeting is coordinated by Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY). WHO is developing a benchmarks document for training in yoga as part of its global strategy to strengthen the quality, safety and effectiveness of traditional and complementary medicine. Development of the benchmarks document is a part of the project collaboration agreement signed between WHO and the ministry of Ayush on cooperation in the field of traditional and complementary medicine under WHO strategy covering the period 2014-2023.
A total 16 experts of yoga would be reviewing the draft document. Out of 16 experts, 11 international experts are from the US, UK, Canada, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Japan, Australia and Malaysia. There would be 4 session on all 3 days. All the technical sessions would be coordinated by the experts from WHO Secretariat.
The meeting will discuss challenges in training of Yoga, review and discuss the scope and structure of the working draft document, review and discuss the contents of the working draft document, identify the type, scope and criteria of information/data that are further required, and discuss the working procedure and time frame for further development of the document. 
This benchmarks document will be used in evaluating Yoga therapy, identifying trends in utilisation, developing payment structures for service models, establishing regulatory framework for Yoga practice.
World Health organisation launched Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023 to help health care leaders to develop solutions that contribute to a broader vision of improved health and patient autonomy. The strategy has two key goals: to support member states in harnessing the potential contribution of traditional and complementary medicine to health, wellness and people centered health care and to promote its safe and effective use through regulation of products, practice and practitioners. These goals will be reached by implementing three strategic objectives, namely:
  • Building the knowledge base and formulating nation’s policies;
  • Strengthening safety, quality and effectiveness through regulation; and 
  • Promoting universal health systems.
Updating and enhancing the strategy has allowed WHO to acquire a better understanding of how to boost the global integration of traditional and complimentary systems of medicine into health systems. It will provide member states with a road map to achieving further success in strategic planning.
Under this WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023, a project collaboration agreement (PCA) was signed between WHO and the ministry of Ayush on 13 May 2016 for cooperation on promoting the quality, safety and effectiveness of service provision in traditional and complementary medicine between WHO and the ministry of Ayush (2016-2020). 
The areas of collaboration for development of the WHO publication include benchmarks for training in Yoga, benchmark for practice in Ayurveda, Unani and Panchakarma, basic (essential) terms for traditional and complementary medicines, establishment of a WHO database for global system for practitioners and support the establishment of a network of international regulatory cooperation for its practice.