The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed certain standardized terminologies for the Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha systems. This step is taken by WHO as a part of their global strategy to strengthen the quality, safety and effectiveness of traditional and complementary medicines. Together with the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa and Homoeopathy (AYUSH), the WHO updated the ‘ Standard International Terminology Reports ‘ during the three-day session at India’s oldest postgraduate college for Ayurveda in Jamnagar, Gujarat, which ended on Wednesday.

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

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 where various terminologies for Ayurveda were discussed and formulated.

The draft papers prepared by experts were reviewed at the WHO Working Group Meeting and an international agreement was reached on the structure and content of each of the papers. The papers included definitions (short or explanatory descriptions as needed), contextual meanings of terms, classical uses and references, suggested terms in English, synonyms, etc.

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