Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has envisioned that India has to take the lead in holistic health care through its traditional medicine systems like Ayurveda and Unani . In this direction the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy which is popularly known as AYUSH has signed a pact with World Health Organisation (WTO) to promote Ayurveda and Unani and bring it mainstream with other global traditional and complimentary medicines.
This agreement seeks to build capacities through long-term collaboration with the WHO by facilitating and generating awareness about AYUSH systems of medicine through education, skill development, workshops and exchange program’s.
WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy: 2014-2023 acknowledges the increasing world interest and use of complementary therapy/complementary medicine globally. Most Western complementary therapies is based on homeopathy whose acceptance level ranges between 10% -50% . Also 80% of member states now offer acupuncture to patients and around 45 countries are offering education in traditional and complimentary medicines at University level. The AYUSH agreement will help advocate and disseminate information about AYUSH systems and help implement the WHO strategy on Traditional Medicine
Traditional medicine, such as that practiced in Asia and Africa, consists of a mixed bag of therapies (e.g., plant-, animal-, spiritual-, and energy-based and much of these traditional therapies have a rational theoretical base,
More countries have gradually come to accept the role and contribution that traditional and complementary medicine can make to the health and wellbeing of individuals and to their healthcare delivery systems in making cost effective treatment available to the masses. British Medical Journal, showed that manual therapy showed faster improvement for neck pain than traditional GP and physiotherapy care and this came at a third of the cost.
European Journal for Health Economics has published findings that GPs (General Practitioners) with additional complementary medicine training have lower healthcare costs and mortality rates than those who do not. In Switzerland, where the average prevalence of complementary medicine use was almost 50%, certain complementary therapies are now part of the basic health insurance scheme available to every Swiss citizen.
The WHO concludes that integrative approach to healthcare can address the gap between affordable healthcare and the burgeoning global population. To enable this, Governments, healthcare practitioners and, most importantly, those who use healthcare services (especially the rural poor) get access to traditional and complementary medicine in a safe, cost efficient and effective manner
The WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy: 2014-2023 recognizes that the two systems of traditional (T&CM) and Western medicine need not clash. They can blend together in a beneficial harmony in the context of primary healthcare by contributing the best features of each system
Salient features of the agreement reached between AYUSH & WHO
- WHO will help develop technical documents and publications, like benchmarks for training in Yoga, and practice in Ayurveda, Unani Medicine and Panchakarma. This will benefit the AYUSH practitioners due to standardization of information dissemination
- AYUSH will actively involve in multilateral collaboration for promotion of Traditional and Complementary Medicine (T&CM) systems
- AYUSH will contribute towards WHO initiatives in development of the WHO publication on the basic terminologies for T&CM, establishment of a database for global T&CM practitioners and a network of international regulatory cooperation for T&CM practices.
- The ministry will earmark a budget from its overall allocation towards the above activities