COVID-19: Zimbabwe plans to use traditional Chinese medicine
Zimbabwe places great importance on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and plans to establish a unit at the country’s main hospital in Harare to explore the integration of medicine into Zimbabwe’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at a joint press conference with the team of Chinese medical experts who ended their two-week visit to the country on Friday, Minister of Health and Child Welfare Obadiah Moyo said that Zimbabwe was keen to harness traditional Chinese medicine for the benefit of its people.
“We intend to use TCM in Zimbabwe. We are lucky that among the team of doctors who visit there is a specialist in TCM,” said the minister.
“We are therefore going to set up a unit within the Parirenyatwa group of hospitals. They have already identified the establishment where the MTC unit will be based so that we can develop it,” he said.
“TCM is a very useful area that we are looking at seriously. So the visiting doctor who is here is going to guide us in this aspect and when the next team comes we want to see more TCM doctors come in,” Moyo said.
He added that the country is keen to strengthen research collaboration with China on the development and use of traditional medicine to cure the virus.
âWe would also like to try the other drugs that the Chinese people are using for COVID-19 and we can have a combined research effort with the Chinese government to also look at our plants and get advice on how we can grow these herbs. and use them, âhe said.
Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Guo Shaochun said the two-week visit to share and exchange knowledge in the fight against the pandemic was rewarding for both sides.
âChinese experts have learned a lot about how Zimbabwe is tackling COVID-19 and in turn brought their knowledge and expertise to Zimbabwe’s fight,â he said.
He said the two-way flow of ideas would go a long way in defeating the virus and increasing healthcare cooperation between the two countries.
In addition to technical support, China has donated a significant amount of medical supplies to the country to help it fight the virus.
Guo praised Zimbabwe’s efforts so far in tackling the pandemic.
âSince the first case began on March 20, Zimbabwe has led a good fight against COVID-19. China is also very happy to have been able to help Zimbabwe in various ways. The war is not over yet. China’s support will not stop either, “he said.
The team arrived in the country on May 11 and met with Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Vice President Kembo Mohadi and officials from the World Health Organization, among others.
During their visit, the 12-member team of Chinese medical experts met with Zimbabwean government ministries and institutions, in addition to visiting four of the country’s 10 provinces to share their experiences with local medical staff. in the fight against the pandemic.
The team also donated medical supplies to hospitals they visited, including Marondera Provincial Hospital, Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital and Mvurwi Hospital.
The team comes from Hunan Province (southern China) and is made up of experts in infectious and respiratory diseases, intensive medicine, infection control, traditional Chinese medicine as well as public health and humanities. medical care.
During the press conference, Chinese medical team chief Zhu Yimin presented the Zimbabwean government with a report with recommendations on tackling COVID-19.
Zhu said Zimbabwe’s measures to tackle the pandemic have been effective so far, as evidenced by the relatively low number of COVID-19 cases which stands at 51, including 18 recoveries and four deaths since. the start of the epidemic in March.
He urged the Zimbabwean government to continue implementing prevention and control measures against the pandemic, noting that in the absence of a vaccine or a cure for COVID-19, self-isolation remained essential to curb the spread. spread of the deadly virus.
The country is also expected to increase community awareness, screening, surveillance and testing for COVID-19, he said.
Zhu added that they were encouraged to note that the Zimbabwean government greatly appreciates the advice and proposals of Chinese medical experts.
âOur proposals may not be comprehensive enough and our knowledge of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country may be limited, but we admire the greatness and perseverance of the Zimbabwean people and the tremendous efforts of the Government of Zimbabwe to deal with COVID-19, âhe said. noted.