India has a rich legacy of traditional medicine, which the world is realising can be crucial element for affordable and efficient healthcare system. Recently, India signed MoU Cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine with Equatorial Guinea and Colombia.
For the uninitiated, the Traditional Systems of Medicine in India are well organised, codified and well documented and comprise of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa and Homoeopathy. These systems hold tremendous potential in the global health scenario. The Ministry of AYUSH having the mandate to promote, propagate and globalize these Traditional Systems has taken effective steps by entering into MoU with Malaysia,Trinidad & Tobago, Hungry, Bangladesh, Nepal, Mauritius, Mongolia, Iran and Sao Tome & Principe for cooperation in the field of Traditional Medicine.
Also as part of a separate MoU, India and Equatorial Guinea have also agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the area of Medicinal Plants.
Furthermore, India and Swaziland on cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine have also agreed to boost Health Tourism.
In fact in a recent development, the Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology has decided to adopt the word ‘AYUSH’ in Hindi and English languages for scientific and technical purposes. The “AYUSH” became popular as the acronym for five traditional and complementary systems of medicine, namely Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy and successfully adopted and used in all Government communications. The decision follows a proposal from the Ministry of AYUSH in this regards.
Hailing this decision, Shripad Naik, the Union AYUSH Minister said that it would underline the essential unity of all holistic systems of healing. He also said that this decision would add strength to the efforts of the Ministry of AYUSH to develop integrated solutions to manage the public health challenges of the Country.
As approved by the Commission, the word ‘Ayush’ will have the meaning “Traditional and Non-Conventional Systems of Health Care and Healing which include Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa, Homoeopathy etc. Following the Commission’s recognition, the word is expected to gain currency in popular usage in a short span of time.
Despite many commonalities, the practice of the Ayush systems of healthcare in India have remained fragmented in system-specific silos. Today’s decision would, in the long term, highlight the unifying features of the different systems. It would facilitate projects and activities of larger scope to emerge, and thereby promote faster development of these systems. This decision will also give a boost to India’s efforts to find a place for the Indian Systems of Healthcare in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) of the World Health Organisation. The Indian systems finding a place in ICD will lead to their international acceptance, increased rigor of research in them and their over-all development.