Traditional Chinese medicine clinic in Namibia breathes new life into locals

A traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) clinic in the Namibian capital Windhoek has brought hope and improved the health of many residents.

The African Traditional Chinese Medicine Clinic, which became operational in 2018, offers patients various TCM treatments such as acupuncture, cupping and tuina (Chinese therapeutic massage).

Particularly effective diseases treated include paralysis, insomnia, hemiplegia and knee joint pain, among others, said its founder, Dr. Wang Peng.

“When treating patients, the focus is on giving people hope and better health,” Wang said.

Witnessing an improvement in their health, the inhabitants attest to the impact of TCM.

Mwahangapo Veico, from Windhoek, suffered a stroke in early 2020. Although she underwent various therapeutic exercises, she was not progressing quickly.

Thanks to a referral, in August last year, she went to the clinic. After a few sessions of acupuncture and therapy, 66-year-old Veico’s health began to improve.

“When I arrived here, I was not able to wash myself or do basic activities. I was also not able to raise my hand. Then Dr. Wang inserted needles all over my body. Today I can walk, do many activities,” Veico said. noted.

Although fearful of needles and wary at first, as the TCM-oriented outpatient treatment worked, she became a regular patient. She is now optimistic about her future which once looked bleak.

“It’s the pursuit of good health and good care received here that brings me back. I call it a second chance at life,” Veico said.

According to Wang, at first many people did not believe that we only use needles and other external treatment methods, because they are used to oral medicine and other methods.

“While we have helped to debunk general beliefs that needles used in acupuncture are painful,” he said.

Over time, the clinic has gained popularity among locals through patient referrals and word of mouth. To date, the cumulative number of patients served since its inception stands at 2,500. Some patients even come from as far away as local towns like Oshakati, Ondangwa and Katima Mulilo in the north of the country.

“We had a patient from Katima Mulilo who came in a wheelchair. After two acupuncture sessions he improved. Lots of people come to see us, patients have had outstanding results and are happy with the treatment,” did he declare.

Accelerated patient progress is also attributed to the diverse and integrative treatment approach employed by the clinic.

“To ensure holistic recovery for patients, we also recommend therapy and physical activity for rehabilitation depending on the condition,” Wang added.

It is also fortunate that TCM is increasingly recognized for its impact nationally, especially within the medical fraternity.

“The local doctors who administer western medicine do a lot of work to help patients. But if they are unresolved, some refer patients to me. I am happy that they recognize the impact of TCM and know that we can help each other to bring health back to people. Certainly, our treatment is complementary,” Wang added.

Meanwhile, Wang said the registration of TCM in the health system in Namibia by the Namibian Association of Medical Aid Funds in March 2020 has enabled more locals to access TCM.

“So far, we have several medical aid funds that have provided for TCM. This means that patients can now enjoy the benefits of the treatment as the demand for TCM in Namibia grows,” Wang said.

In the meantime, his vision is to run the clinic sustainably and build a reputable business that is equated with a place of hope.

“Also, to educate more locals about TCM. I hope more people can learn more about it and its benefits,” he said.

Wang attributes his wealth of experience to the skills acquired during his tenure as a volunteer doctor at the Chinese Acupuncture Department at Katutura State Hospital in Windhoek between 2014 and 2016.

The 42-year-old doctor also held various positions at the Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University of Chinese Medicine in China, where he practiced for ten years.