International Classification of Diseases (ICD)

The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) under the aegis of the WHO is the global standard for for recording and reporting causes of death and morbidity. ICD defines the universe of diseases, disorders, injuries and other related health conditions, listed in a comprehensive, hierarchical fashion. Over the decades it has played a critical role supporting health services across the world. It is mainly used to monitor the incidence and prevalence of diseases, determine case-mix for reimbursement and resource allocation, and keeping track of patient safety and quality guidelines.

Traditional Medicine (TM) Systems in ICD

TM Conditions which were earlier not part of ICD have found a place in the 11th Revision (which is currently under implementation) of ICD in the form of a supplementary Chapter for optional use. The inclusion of the TM Chapter in ICD-11 is in many ways a breakthrough for the Traditional Medicine Systems around the world, as it provides an instrument that will enable counting and comparing TM conditions, and offer the means for comparing research and evaluate its results, to establish efficacy and safety of TM.

The present level of documentation and reporting of TM diagnosis in most countries around the world is inadequate. The TM Chapter could change this by facilitating standardised recording and reporting of TM diagnosis, which in turn will allow to generate international comparable data on TM encounters in terms of form, frequency, effectiveness, safety, quality, outcome and cost.

The First Module of the TM Chapter of ICD- 11 classifies traditional medicine conditions that originated in ancient China and are now commonly used in China, Japan, Republic of Korea and other countries. Additional modules classifying diagnostic concepts of other standardised forms of traditional medicine may be developed provided that key requirements and use-cases are sufficiently developed for starting the process of international standardization. The stage is thus set for other major TM Systems to strive for finding a place in the subsequent Modules of the TM Chapter.

Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha Systems of Medicine

The TM Systems of Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha are generally identified with the South Asian Region. However, they have found notable acceptance and adoption in numerous countries of the world, and are practiced in Regions like South-East Asia, West Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.

In India, for instance there are an estimated workforce of over 770, 799,879 registered practitioners of traditional medicine in the domain of AYUSH (AYUSH). AYUSH is an acronym for Traditional Medicine Systems currently regulated and practiced in the Indian subcontinent. In general it denotes the Traditional and Complementary medical systems of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa, and Homeopathy. There are 146,036 health sub centers, 31849 PHCs, 26405 dispensaries, 11225 CHCs, 3639 hospitals, 550 teaching hospitals, 697 district hospitals, and 18462 collocated facilities of AYUSH spread over 29 states and seven union territories of India within the health system. Appropriate utilization of these vast resources and infrastructure has the potential of expediting the Country’s advancement towards Universal Health Coverage.

The Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India

The Ministry of AYUSH is the second Health Ministry of Government of India (the first being the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, which oversees the conventional system of medicine), and has been given the mandate to oversee traditional and non-conventional systems of healthcare and healing in the country including Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha systems of medicine.. The Ministry of AYUSH is supporting mainstreaming of Traditional and Complementary Systems of medicine throughout the world. It has initiated many steps for integrating AYUSH health services in public healthcare system in India and has succeeded in mainstreaming the AYUSH Systems in policy and practice in Public Health in India.

ICoSDiTAUS -2020

The International ministerial Conference on Standardisation of Diagnosis and Terminologies in Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha Systems of Medicine (ICoSDiTAUS) -2020 draws its inspiration from the newly introduced TM Chapter of ICD- 11. The conference aims to mobilize commitment and ownership among senior policy makers for ICD-11 implementation and the further development of the supplementary chapter on traditional medicine diagnoses in ICD-11. The conference presentations and discussions will focus on topics like relevance and regulation of Traditional Medicine in Health Systems as well as status and challenges for collection and classification of clinical data in traditional medicine.It is expected that around 30 stake-holding countries will participate in ICoSDiTAUS -2020. The conference is organized by the Ministry of AYUSH in collaboration with WHO, and will be held during 25- 26 February 2020 in New Delhi.