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India and Bangladesh signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the field of traditional systems of medicine and Homeopathy. Training, research, exchanges of experts and setting up an academic chair are the highlights of this new cooperation envisaged in the MoU.

Bangladesh's health secretary M.M. Neazuddin and India's Secretary for Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturapathy Unani, Siddhi and Homeopathy (AYUSH) Nilanjan Sanyal signed the MoU in Dhaka on the sidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) regional meeting.

Health Ministers of Bangladesh and India, Mohammed Nasim and Harsh Vardhan respectively, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan and its South-East Asia Region (SEARO) director Poonam Khetrapal Singh were also present when the document was signed.

Bangladesh authorities believe the agreement would benefit the country in the field of education and research of traditional systems of medicine.India is known for its rich ancient system of medicine called ayurveda, the country's authorities said.

India's AYUSH delegation visited Dhaka in June and discussed this collaboration. Harsh Vardhan, at the inauguration of the WHO meeting, said this type of medicine "considers body and soul in treating patients".

"Ayurveda was the first to conceptualise spiritual health which now even modern medicine views as important," he said.

"Ayurveda for the first time exhibited an understanding of environmental health describing body as composed of five elements that is earth, space, fire, water and wind," he said.