New Delhi: India is pushing for a WHO collaborative centre on traditional medicine to win legal recognition to the Indian systems of medication like Ayurveda and Unani abroad, officials said Wednesday.
At present, all the drugs under the Indian systems of medicine -- Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homoepathy - are exported either as food supplements or nutritional supplements.
The Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoepathy (AYUSH) in the union health ministry works to propagate Indian systems of medicine.
"We want to get legal recognition for drugs under Indian traditional system and WHO plays a very important role in propagation of traditional system of medicine," Anil Kumar, Secretary (AYUSH), told reporters.
Kumar will be meeting WHO officials to finalise a collaborative centre.
Recognising the growing popularity of the Indian systems of medicine in other countries, the department has recently also re-defined its strategy for international cooperation.
"It is now increasingly engaging with other countries in a more structured and concrete manner by entering into MoUs for cooperation in traditional medicine as well as for setting up of Academic Chairs in educational institutions," he said.
India has signed MoUs with Malaysia and Trinidad & Tobago while a MoU with Nepal is under consideration.
Academic Chairs have been set up in South Africa and are in the process of being set in Germany and Trinidada & Tobago. Chairs will also be set up in Nepal and Sri Lanka.