WHO, Ayush ministry develop standardised terminologies for traditional medicine systems

The standardisation of terms will help facilitate better communication between practitioners of modern and traditional medicine, and support integration of traditional medicine into the national health system.
Traditional Medicines are an important integral part of Universal Health Coverage Program especially under Sustainable Developmental Goal-3 (SDG-3) of United Nations.(Shutterstock)
Traditional Medicines are an important integral part of Universal Health Coverage Program especially under Sustainable Developmental Goal-3 (SDG-3) of United Nations.(Shutterstock)
Updated on Dec 05, 2019 01:57 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent

As part of its global strategy to strengthen the quality, safety and effectiveness of traditional and complementary medicines, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has developed standardized terminologies for the Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha systems.

The terms relate to basic principles, fundamental theories, human structure and function, diagnosis, diseases, disease patterns and body constitutions, medicines, food, therapies, preventive and promotive health interventions etc. of the respective medical systems that will help facilitate better communication between practitioners of modern and traditional medicine, and support integration of traditional medicine into the national health system.

In collaboration with the ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa and Homoeopathy (Ayush), the WHO reviewed the ‘Standard International Terminologies Documents’ during a three-day meeting in India’s oldest post-graduate college for Ayurveda in Jamnagar, Gujarat, that concluded on Wednesday.

The college is also a designated WHO Collaborating Centre for Traditional Medicine.

“Standardised terms also help not just the healthcare professionals in the field but also students and researchers. There’ always a need to develop terms that anyone can understand and relate to anywhere in the world,” said a senior Ayush ministry official, requesting anonymity.

About 20 International experts of Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha from 13 different countries, including Japan, Canada, Denmark, Austria, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Switzerland, Malaysia, South Africa, Nepal etc., along with 21 experts from India and four WHO officials participated in the meeting.

In WHO Working Group Meeting, the draft documents prepared by experts were reviewed, and an international consensus regarding the structure and content of each of the documents was arrived at.

The documents included definitions (short or explanatory descriptions as required), contextual meanings of the terms, classical usages and references, suggested English terms, synonyms etc.

Traditional Medicines are an important integral part of Universal Health Coverage Program especially under Sustainable Developmental Goal-3 (SDG-3) of United Nations.

“Indian government is making all efforts to ensure integration of Ayush systems with mainstream healthcare delivery systems, particularly making it a part of preventive and promotive health. The goals are beign gradually achieved,” added the Ayush ministry official.

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