Doctor fighting coronavirus with traditional chinese medicine

Zhang Boli (seated, facing the camera), director of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, examines a patient with COVID-19 at a clinic in Wuhan, Hubei province, on March 18. Photo by Zhu Xingxin/China Daily/Asia News Network

BEIJING — Over the past few months, Zhang Boli, 72, has brought the power of traditional Chinese medicine to the world by leading a team of experts to treat COVID-19 infections in Wuhan, the frontline of the China in the battle against the new coronavirus.

Zhang, director of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, arrived in Wuhan, capital of central China’s Hubei Province, on Jan. 27, the third day of the Lunar New Year and the fifth day of China’s lockdown. the megalopolis for epidemic control.

The member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering was among four people who were awarded China’s People’s Hero, National Medal and Honorary Title on August 11 for their outstanding contribution to the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic. 19.

“This honor was not only given to me as an individual. I share the glory because I am one of the medical staff who benefited from TCM,” says Zhang.

Zhang spent his 72nd birthday in Wuhan on March 19, when no new infections and no suspected cases of COVID-19 were reported there after a tough battle to prevent the outbreak from spreading in the city of more than 10 millions of inhabitants.

“Eliminating new infections in Wuhan is my greatest birthday present,” Zhang said after working around the clock to treat patients for more than a month.

Yet the city hardest hit by the outbreak in China was still struggling at the time. “Hospitals were overcrowded with potential risks of cross infection,” says Zhang.

Zhang and more than 300 other doctors formed a TCM medical team. They were stationed in a makeshift hospital in Wuhan’s Jiangxia district, using TCM decoctions along with other treatments such as massage, acupuncture and tai chi and Baduanjin physical exercises, a form of traditional aerobics, to treat patients with COVID-19.

TCM has shown clear results in helping COVID-19 patients recover. None of the 564 patients with mild symptoms at the temporary TCM-oriented hospital saw their condition deteriorate, Zhang said.

“So we used TCM in 16 makeshift hospitals for the isolation treatment of COVID-19 patients in Wuhan, and since then the rate of patients developing serious conditions has dropped significantly,” he says.

Thanks to Zhang’s pioneering practices, TCM treatment has been given to 90% of COVID-19 patients in Wuhan, relieving symptoms, slowing disease progression, reducing mortality and boosting recovery.

“TCM therapeutic solutions need such a battlefield to show the world its benefits and effectiveness,” says Zhang, who wrote the words “Cheer up, Zhang” on his protective suits.

Due to exhaustion and an irregular diet, the veteran expert began to suffer from cholecystitis for which he had to undergo gallbladder surgery on February 19 in Wuhan.

National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine officials urged Zhang to return home to Tianjin to recuperate, but he refused.

“The battle has just begun. How can I withdraw from the front at such a critical time? he said then.

He started working from his sickbed just hours after the operation. “That little table is my battleground, because I can’t go to the wards to supervise the treatment,” he said, pointing to the table next to his bed.

Despite his age, he has devoted himself to the development of the modern TCM industry and its legislation, as he believes that the medical system needs to be modernized.

“TMC is old, but not obsolete. What hinders the development of the sector is the lack of technology. If we can combine TCM theory with modern technology, we will create innovative and outstanding achievements,” said Zhang, who has become a pioneer in the company.

In 2015, Zhang and his team won the first prize of the State Scientific and Technological Progress Award for their project on the development of patented Chinese medicine.

According to the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, China has shared TCM therapy, effective prescriptions and clinical experience to deal with COVID-19 with more than 80 countries and regions.

Lianhua Qingwen capsule, a TCM patent recommended for the treatment of COVID-19, has obtained marketing approvals in more than 10 countries and regions.

“Chinese doctors relied on joint consultations between TCM and Western medicine experts to treat COVID-19. Regardless of national borders, I hope TCM can help more and more people around the world,” Zhang said.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

For more information on the novel coronavirus, click here.

What you need to know about the Coronavirus.

For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our primary health care and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited to Banco de Oro (BDO) current account # 007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

Read more

Don’t miss the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to access The Philippine Daily Inquirer and over 70 titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am and share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.