WHO Collaborating Center for Traditional Medicines (Ayurveda)
World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized the knowledge based expertise services and specialties in the field of Ayurveda of Institute of Teaching & Research in Ayurveda, Jamnagar and designated the Institute as Collaborative Center for Traditional Medicines in the field of Ayurveda previously in May 2013 for four years (up to April 2017). Considering the valuable contribution by the institute during the period of designation, it was re-designated as WHO Collaborative Center (WHOCC) for another four years from April 2017 to April 2021, which has further extended for the period of April 2021-April 2025.
In India, there are around 30 Collaborative Centres for WHO from differentdisciplines of modern and allied sciences, but it is noteworthy toemphasize that, Institute of Teaching & Research in Ayurveda is the only Ayurvedacentre throughout the world which is designated as collaborative centre for Ayurveda.
Institute of Teaching & Research in Ayurveda (ITRA) right from itsestablishment has been the premiere centre of Post Graduate in AyurvedaEducation and Research and providing Ayurveda training to WHO sponsored fellowsfrom various countries. Since inception this institute is engaged in activitiesrelated with the research and attained unique achievements. Over the years, various activities have been undertaken by the institute incollaboration with WHO. Institute has becomethe centre of attraction to foreigners for learning of Ayurveda.
Scientists and scholars from countries like Canada, Germany, France, Poland, England, Switzerland, Netherlands, USA, Russia, Ukraine, Mongolia, Australia, Vietnam, Japan, Reunion Island, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Thailand, Myanmar, etc. have visited the institute to receive training in various specialties of Ayurveda.
During the period 2013 to 2021, some of the major activities conducted by the institute as a part of WHO CC are as follow
- As part of activity for the rationalization and Standardization of Health Promotion Guidelines of Ayurveda, a comprehensive report – Life Style Guidelines of Ayurveda for Health Promotion was prepared and submitted to Ministry of AYUSH, New Delhi, India and WHO SEARO, New Delhi whichhas been published. For this purpose, a National Workshop for Development of Life Style Guidelines of Ayurveda for Rationalization & Standardization of Health Promotion was organized in 2014 involving experts from different fields.
- Organization of Orientation Training Programmes for Foreign and National Medical Professionals and WHO Fellows & Officials on Scientific Aspects and Evidence-based uses of Ayurveda. In one of such activities, a group composed by 33 members (27 from Argentine, 3 from Mexico, 2 from Colombia and 1 from Brazil) was conducted in February 2015. In another such activity, orientation training programme for 36 medical professionals from Fundacion De Salud Ayurveda PREMA, Buenos Aires, Argentina was conducted at the institute between 13th- 24thFebruary, 2015.
- For the development of Strategic Measures and Capacity Building Programme for strengthening of Pharmacovigilance of Traditional Medicines, a national level capacity building programme for teaching faculty was organized during 2ndto 4thMarch-2017. Total 32 teachers from 10 different states of India and 21 Ayurveda medical officers from Srilanka participated in the programme as registered delegates.A two days CME programme was organized during 28th& 29th January 2019 for coordinators of peripheral pharmacovigilance centres (PPvCs) and Teachers of all colleges under Gujarat Ayurved University and other universities too. For the first time, a conference comprising of both conventional and AYUSH system of medicines for discussion on pharmacovigilance aspects of ASU & H drugs was conducted under the aegis of Ministry of AYUSH in collaboration with Society of Pharmacovigilance India( SoPI).A pre-conference workshop and National conference on Pharmacovigilance (Ayushsuraksha 2019) and 18thAnnual conference of Society of Pharmacovigilance, India (SoPI) were organized at Institute during 8th-10th November 2019, sponsored by Ministry of AYUSH, Govt. of India.
- In continuation of it, awareness programs regarding pharmacovigilance in ASU&H Drugs were conducted through webinars from December 2020 to March 2021 for the states of Gujarat, Goa, Karnataka, Assam, Meghalaya, West Bengal and Andaman and Nicobar (U.T.). A total of 3760 participants were registered, among which 2322 people participated in awareness programme on pharmacovigilance in ASU&H Drug. A virtual workshop from 30 November to 2 December 2020 on Pharmacovigilance (PV) for TM products for WHO South-East Asia Region was also conducted by TRM/HSD, SEARO in which experts from the member states of WHO, South-East Asia Region participated.
- A three day Regional Workshop on Clinical Research Methodologies in Traditional Medicine for WHO South-East Asia Region for member states of WHO, South-East Asia Region was organized during 9th September -11th September 2019, in joint venture of ITRA and WHO regional Office for South-East Asia (SEARO), New Delhi at Jamnagar, Gujarat, India. This workshop aimed at bringing improvement in clinical research capacity in traditional medicines and to discuss recent advancements in T&CM research including different clinical research methodologies. It also aimed to share country experience in clinical research in T&CM for identifying key achievement, challenges and possible solutions and to identify key and common challenges and opportunities to enhance regional collaboration towards overcoming the challenges and improving research capacity in T & CM. The report of this regional workshop has been published online as a Regional workshop on clinical research methodologies in traditional medicine for the WHO South-East Asia Region and is available at https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/338750/sea-tradmedicine-89-eng.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed =y
- In association with World Health Organization and Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India, two consecutive working group meetings were organized at ITRA, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India during 26th November 2019 to 4th December 2019. The first meeting on WHO expert consultation meeting for Benchmarks for Practice Documents for Ayurveda, Unani and Panchakarma was held during 26th November to 29th November 2019. In the inaugural session of the meeting, Shri. Pramod Pathak, Additional Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India, Prof.AnupThakar, I/C Hon. Vice Chancellor, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, Dr. Kim Sungchol, Regional Advisor, Traditional Medicine, WHO (SEARO), and Dr. Geetha Krishnan Pillai from WHO Headquarters Geneva, Switzerland remained present. The main focus of the meeting was to critically study and provide expert opinion on the drafts of practice and training documents of Ayurveda, Unani and Panchakarma. To achieve this target, in addition to representatives from WHO Headquarter, Geneva, other experts from 22 different countries like India, Argentina, Bangladesh, South Africa, Switzerland, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, America, Italy, Tanzania, Mauritius, UAE, Germany, and Malaysia had constantly discussed and contributed on updating the draft of their respective system of medicines. For this purpose, three different working group committees were formed. At the end of 4 days of meeting, the representative of each group had presented their views and on the basis of this WHO will draft final documents for practice and training of Ayurveda, Panchakarma and Unani Systems of medicine.
- Similarly, a second 3 days WHO Working Group Meeting on standard terminology documents of Ayurveda, Unani, and Siddha systems of medicine was organized by the efforts of WHO and Ministry of AYUSH, Govt. of India at IPGT & RA, which held during 2nd to 4th December, 2019. In the inaugural function of this meeting, Shri. P.N. Ranjit Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India, New Delhi, Prof.AnupThakar, Hon. I/c Vice Chancellor, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, Dr. Kim Sungchol, Regional Advisor, Traditional Medicine, WHO (SEARO), New Delhi and Dr. Geetha Krishnan Pillai from WHO Headquarter Geneva, Switzerland remained present. In this meeting in addition to experts from WHO, experts of Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha from 15different countries like Austria, Bangladesh, Canada, Denmark, Ghana, Japan, Iran, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nepal, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Switzerland participated. For this purpose, three different working group committees were formed. At the end of 4 days of meeting, the representative of each group had presented their views and recommendations for finalizing the documents on standard terminology documents of Ayurveda, Unani, and Siddha systems of medicine. On the basis of this WHO will prepare final documents for standard terminology documents of Ayurveda, Unani, and Siddha systems of medicine.
Agreement for Performance of Work
between World Health Organization and Institute for Post Graduate Teaching & Research In Ayurveda, Gujarat Ayurved University has been finalized for the project – “To review AYUSH interventions on COVID-19 in India: A living systematic review” (Timeframe: 20 January 2021 to 10 August 2021), which is under progress.
Terms of References (TORs) as Redesignation of ITRA, Jamnagar from April 2021-2025
- To support WHO’s efforts in developing safety monitoring capacity for traditional medicine through pharmacovigilance system.
- To support WHO’s effort in building research capacity for traditional medicine through training and guideline development
- To support WHO in implementing the WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023 by providing technical inputs on Ayurveda and Panchakarma at the request of WHO
- To support WHO’s efforts in building and strengthening traditional medicine performance monitoring system at the facility level.