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TCM team to help combat COVID-19 in Cambodia

China will dispatch its first international medical aid team specializing in traditional Chinese medicine to Cambodia to help the country fight COVID-19 and promote mutual communication in the field of traditional medicine, according to an agreement signed this week.

The team will be sent to the Cambodia-China Friendship Preah Kossamak Hospital in Phnom Penh for a year, Huang Luqi, deputy director of the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, said during a signing ceremony in the Cambodian capital on Tuesday.

"During the period, the team will train medical professionals from Cambodia's Ministry of Health, develop targeted training manuals and courses, and provide prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services for common diseases, including COVID-19, for local people," Huang was quoted as saying in a report by Xinhua News Agency.

The deal was signed between Huang and Cambodian Health Minister Mam Bunheng. Wang Wentian, the Chinese ambassador to Cambodia, also attended the ceremony.

Cambodians are already used to treating common illnesses with TCM, and such therapies have also been deployed in the battle against COVID-19, Mam Bunheng said.

He added that the new deal will not only help increase the COVID-19 treatment capacity of Cambodian medical experts, but also broaden cooperation in the traditional medicine field.

Cambodia is one of an increasing number of countries that have granted market approval or licenses to Lianhua Qingwen capsules, a TCM widely used to treat mild COVID-19 patients. Cambodian media reported in July that the medicine was selected as part of a home-based treatment for people showing mild COVID-19 symptoms, such as a runny nose or cough.

China has accelerated efforts to advance the recognition and adoption of TCM around the globe in recent years, especially after a number of TCM drugs proved effective in relieving COVID-19 symptoms.

Last week, Huang met with Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Origination, to discuss TCM's role in improving people's health.

Huang handed Tedros a research report that assessed the safety and efficacy of TCM in fighting COVID-19 with an evidence-based approach, the administration said.

China aims to markedly increase the discourse power and influence of TCM globally by 2035, according to a development plan released by the administration and the administrative office of the Leading Group for Promoting the Belt and Road Initiative on Jan 15.

From last year to 2025, the country plans to cooperate with foreign countries involved in the initiative to establish 30 TCM centers overseas, 50 collaboration centers and a batch of TCM export service bases.


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