WHO Working Group Meeting on developing Standardized Terminologies in Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha

New Delhi: The three day meeting organized by the World Health Organisation (WHO) with the support of Ministry of AYUSH at Jamnagar to review the draft documents on Terminologies of Ayurveda, Unani & Siddha has laid a firm foundation for the globalisation efforts of these three AYUSH systems. The meeting was held during 2nd to 4th December, 2019 at the Institute of Post Graduate Teaching & Research in Ayurveda (IPGT&RA), Jamnagar, Gujarat. IPGT&RA is India’s oldest PG College for Ayurveda, and is also a designated WHO Collaborating Centre for Traditional Medicine.

The Standard International Terminologies Documents reviewed here were developed by WHO as part of its global strategy to strengthen the quality, safety and effectiveness of Traditional and Complementary Medicine (T&CM). Development of these documents is included in the Project Collaboration Agreement (PCA) on Cooperation in the field of Traditional and Complementary Medicine under WHO strategy on T&CM covering the period 2014-2023 signed between World Health Organization (WHO) and Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India. Traditional Medicines are an important integral part of Universal Health Coverage Program especially under Sustainable Developmental Goal-3 (SDG-3) of United Nations.

In the WHO Working Group Meetings (WGMs), each of the three zero 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 are expected to provide the list of terms in the respective systems, definitions (short or explanatory descriptions as required) including contextual meanings of the terms, classical usages and references, suggested English terms, synonyms and exclusions if any. The documents cover terms related to basic principles, fundamental theories, human structure and function, diagnosis, pathologies, patterns and body constitutions, pharmacognosy, pharmacology, preparation of food and medicines, therapeutics, preventive and promotive health interventions and miscellaneous terms of the respective medical systems. The standardized terminologies will facilitate better communication between practitioners of modern and traditional medicine, and support integration of traditional medicine into the national health system. These documents will be of immense utility to other health professionals, medical students and relevant researchers also.

A total of 20 International experts of Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha from 13 different countries (Covering all six regions of WHO) like Japan, Canada, Denmark, Austria, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, UAE, Bangladesh, Switzerland, Malaysia, South Africa, Nepal and Iran along with 21 National experts and four WHO officials participated in the meeting.