India has signed an agreement with World Health Organisation for cooperation in promoting traditional medicine, a move which will deliver for the first time WHO benchmark document for training in yoga, ayurveda, unani and panchakarma. “AYUSH Ministry and WHO have signed a historic Project Collaboration Agreement (PCA) for cooperation on promoting the quality, safety and effectiveness of service provision in traditional and complementary medicine,” an official statement said. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The PCA was signed by AYUSH Ministry secretary Ajit M Sharan and Marie Kieny, Assistant Director General, Health Systems and Innovations, WHO in Geneva yesterday. The agreement titled ‘Co-operation on promoting the quality, safety and effectiveness of service provision in traditional and complementary medicine between WHO and AYUSH, India, 2016-2020’, aims to support WHO in the development and implementation of the ‘WHO Traditional and Complementary Medicine Strategy: 2014-2023. It will also contribute to the global promotion of traditional Indian systems of medicine. “The PCA for the period 2016-2020 will deliver for the first time WHO benchmark document for training in Yoga and WHO benchmarks for practice in Ayurveda, Unani and Panchakarma. “These will contribute significantly in strengthening of national capacities in ensuring quality, safety and effectiveness of traditional medicine including in establishing regulatory frameworks for traditional medicine products and practice and promote their integration in national healthcare systems,” the statement said. Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Yesso Naik and Director-General, WHO Margaret Chan witnessed the agreement signing ceremony at the WHO headquarters. Speaking at a reception hosted by India, Naik recalled the long history and rich heritage of traditional medicine in India and its growing relevance in providing holistic and comprehensive health care.