The Second Meeting of the BIMSTEC Task Force on Traditional Medicine (BTFTM)


At Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar

The Second Meeting of the BIMSTEC Task Force on Traditional Medicine (BTFTM) was held on 24 -25 January 2019 in Nay Pyi Taw at the invitation of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. Delegations from all Member States attended the meeting, including from the Secretariat of BIMSTEC.

H.E. the Union Minister of Health & Sports of Myanmar (centre) with the heads of delegation from the BIMSTEC Member States during inaugural session of the Meeting on 24 January 2019 in Nay Pyi Taw.

The Meeting deliberated on Base Paper on Protection of Genetic Resources (GR) associated with Traditional Medicine Knowledge (TMK), Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) for Traditional Medicine and Cooperative Work Plan on Development of Traditional Medicine submitted by India and agreed to complete the identification of the Nodal Agency and the Country Specific Nodal Group by 31st of March 2019. The Member States agreed to provide up-dates on protection of GR and TMK to the Secretariat within May 2019 and advised the Secretariat to request the Government of Bangladesh to host the First Meeting of the BIMSTEC Nodal Group on TMK, GR & IPR within 2019, in accordance to the BIMSTEC practice of holding its meetings on alphabetical order.

The Meeting welcomed the readiness of India to host the Workshop on Harmonization of Curricula for mutual recognition of the Traditional Medicine Degrees by March 2019, for which India will circulate a Concept Note before the Workshop to the Member States through the Secretariat. Further, the Meeting requested Nepal to host the 3rd BTFTM Meeting, preferably in October/November 2019.

For the purpose of maintaining proper records of traditional treatments and also to project the potentials of Traditional Medical System to the outside world, the Meeting agreed to induct the WHO International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) coding system by the Member States for their Traditional Medicine System on priority basis.

As a way forward, the Meeting recommended the establishment of a BIMSTEC Ayurveda and Traditional Medicine University (BATMU) in the near future to act as a model institution in the region and help the Member States to develop their own Ayurveda and Traditional Medicine Colleges with affiliation to BATMU for sustainable capacity development related to the Traditional Medicine among the Member States. In this regard, India welcomed the new initiative of BTFTM and agreed to submit a proposal for establishment of the said University to the Government of India for its consideration.

The Meeting in principle agreed to adopt the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model for development of Traditional Medicine System (TMS) and integrated hospitals in future for sustainability, as proposed by the Delegation of Myanmar and also as emphasized by the Minister of Health and Sports of Myanmar in his Keynote Address.