India, Bangladesh to focus on research collaboration

Parents of boy with rare disease to meet Harsh VardhanNew Delhi:  Research collaboration, exchange of experts and training will be part of an agreement on traditional medicines and homeopathy to be signed between India and Bangladesh, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said Monday.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) regarding cooperation on traditional medicines and homeopathy is to be signed between India and Bangladesh this week on the sidelines of the 67th general meeting of World Health Organisation’s regional committee in Dhaka.

“This is the age of holistic medicine. No single line of treatment is supreme. I intend to give the ancient wisdom contained in our evidence-based medicine,” Harsh Vardhan said before leaving for the Bangladesh capital to attend the meeting.

The MoU would cover exchanges of experts, training, mutual recognition of systems, qualification and pharmacopoeia. This will provide more scope for research collaborations, he said.

It will be in line with the “Delhi Declaration” adopted at the international conference on traditional medicine for south east Asian countries in February 2013 calling for cooperation between the governments of the region.

Harsh Vardhan observed that Bangladesh has a rich custom in traditional medicine.

“In rural Bangladesh, ayurveda, unani and homeopathy streams of medicine are highly popular. There are a large number of medicinal plants which are common to both the countries, giving scope for exchange of useful information,” he said.

The health minister will address the opening session of the meeting Tuesday as India holds the chair of the committee.

He will later call on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and hold bilateral meetings with health ministers of member countries on the sidelines of the conference. A meeting with WHO director-general Margaret Chan on health issues is also planned.

The WHO regional committee is a forum of health ministers from the south east Asian region to deliberate on various aspects of public health policy, agendas, priorities, their implementation and inter-government cooperation.