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Student uses TCM wisdom in Ghana outbreak

Returning to Ghana in February, Nkrumah Seth, an overseas student at Liaoning University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Shenyang, chose to work as an intern in a local traditional medicine clinic to help his hometown fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the past three months, Seth said he had run out of moxa sticks and 4,000 acupuncture needles that he brought back from China.

He said he used the TCM therapies to help natives enhance their recovery from the COVID-19 virus.

TCM is a method to improve immunity at low cost. It is in line with the herbal therapy of traditional African medicine, Seth said.

"TCM is a healthy lifestyle that is suitable for all of us," he said.

After learning TCM in China for almost eight years, Seth is one of many overseas students who have discovered this medical treasure.

As the second-largest continent in the world, Africa has a population of about 1.1 billion. About 80 percent of African people rely on traditional medicine in their medical care, experts said.

Dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) voyages of Zheng He, China and Africa share a history of exchanges in the field of traditional medicine.

Since 1963, TCM has been introduced to about 45 African countries such as Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique by Chinese medical aid teams.

Data from the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine showed that, as of 2019, the Chinese government had assigned more than 2,000 TCM doctors to Africa to support the continent's public medical service.

As the world tackles the problem of public health, some African countries might face great challenges in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Preventing and treating the novel coronavirus with TCM is China's practice and experience in the COVID-19 fight in Wuhan," said Tong Xiaolin, chief researcher with the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences.

"We are willing to share our practice and experience with many developing countries," Tong said.

Official data showed that China had assigned medical experts to countries, including Saudi Arabia, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia, to share its experience in fighting COVID-19.These experts have also worked with local medical institutions and professionals in combating the pandemic.

Of this, TCM is an important part.

Seth said he plans to apply for a doctoral degree in TCM after completing his study for a master's degree.

"I want to open a TCM hospital in Ghana in the future and bring TCM back to my hometown.

"My dream is to integrate TCM with traditional African medicine and find a health solution suitable for Africa," he added.


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