Traditional Chinese medicine offers Ethiopians a better alternative to regain health

A Chinese acupuncturist treats an Ethiopian patient with acupuncture at Tirunesh Hospital in Beijing on the outskirts of Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa on Aug. 27, 2021. (Xinhua/Michael Tewelde)
Chinese acupuncturists treat Ethiopian patients with acupuncture at Tirunesh Hospital in Beijing on the outskirts of Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa on Aug. 27, 2021. (Xinhua/Michael Tewelde)

Berhanu Kedir, 34, is one of many outpatients who received traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for treatment at Tirunesh Hospital in Beijing, on the outskirts of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.

Kedir suffered a car accident seven months ago and has since suffered from persistent pain in his waist and left leg, as well as difficulty speaking.

“My pain, however, has largely decreased over the past three weeks since I started acupuncture therapy,” Kedir said, while receiving acupuncture treatment at the Tirunesh Hospital premises. -Beijing supported by China.

“Chinese doctors use acupuncture, cupping, moxibustion and other techniques to treat neck, shoulder, waist and leg pain, nerve dysfunction and certain mental and psychological disorders,” Liu said. Ruiqiang, who is the leader of the 22nd group of the Chinese Medical Team in Ethiopia.

According to the team leader, the two highly experienced Chinese acupuncturists can treat about 25 Ethiopian patients a day, helping more than 700 locals with physical pain relief every month.

“We have been treating illnesses such as body, muscle and joint pain, paralysis and migraine since we arrived at the hospital’s acupuncture treatment center nine months ago,” said Lin Guoping, one of the Chinese acupuncturists.

Lin said he sees an increasing number of patients who are referred to the center and undergo acupuncture therapy, an ancient Chinese medicine-based approach to treating a variety of conditions by triggering specific points on the skin with needles. .

Kedir, who was in a coma and unable to speak for months due to head damage he sustained in the car crash, is now seeing a significant improvement in his health.

A Chinese acupuncturist treats an Ethiopian patient with acupuncture at Tirunesh Hospital in Beijing on the outskirts of Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa on Aug. 27, 2021. (Xinhua/Michael Tewelde)

“After undergoing acupuncture therapy, my speech, waist and leg conditions improved,” Kedir said.

“Now I walk, wear my clothes, eat and meet all my other needs without help,” Kedir said, enjoying traditional Chinese medicine in the hospital,” he added.

Lia Hailu, 22, is another regular outpatient who was admitted to the acupuncture center a month ago after suffering from facial paralysis which involves paralysis on one side of her face.

“I only felt the symptoms one morning and found that my left face was not moving and had a tendency to droop,” said Hailu, who didn’t know what to do until she was referred. at the Chinese acupuncture treatment center.

“Since undergoing therapy, my lips have returned to a normal position and my left face has started to function. Unlike the early days of the disease, now I can close my eyes and drink water properly,” she said.

She said that acupuncture treatment was the best treatment she could find to cure her disease.

“I will fully recover from my illness in 15 days,” Hailu said.

Apart from treating locals, the acupuncture center serves as a platform where Chinese doctors impart traditional Chinese medicines to other Ethiopian medical professionals.

“Our country is committed to assisting the health system in Ethiopia, and Chinese doctors specializing in surgery, orthopedics, acupuncture, obstetrics and gynecology as well as pathology and radiology provide wide-ranging health services at the hospital.” , Lin said.

Seble Mamo, who is the center’s chief Ethiopian acupuncturist, said Chinese acupuncture is reaching more needy people, helping to cure the locals of various illnesses such as headaches, blood pressure and ailments. sleep, among other things.

“Unlike other modern treatments, acupuncture therapy is far preferable among Ethiopians because it is administered without side effects,” Mamo said.

Mamo completed a two-month training in acupuncture therapy in China with her colleagues as part of the Ethiopian government’s efforts to expand TCM in Ethiopia.

Liu Ruiqiang, head of the 22nd group of Chinese medical team in Ethiopia, speaks during an interview in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Aug. 27, 2021. (Xinhua/Michael Tewelde)

Mamo said TCM therapy is gaining popularity among Ethiopians and instead of seeking long-term drugs, many locals now tend to try the treatment, which they see as a safer alternative after more cases. recovered.

“Patients who come to the acupuncture center at the early stage of their illness recover faster than patients with chronic illnesses,” Mamo said.

Mamo said she is happy to work with Chinese acupuncturists from whom she draws good knowledge and experience. She recommends that health education in acupuncture be provided in Ethiopian universities to serve the more than 110 million people of the East African nation.

“I have seen several patients who entered the center with the help of a caregiver but came out of the hospital vigorously after undergoing the acupuncture treatment,” Mamo added.

Amid growing difficulties induced by the ongoing COVID-19, the 22nd Group of Chinese Medical Teams in Ethiopia, consisting of 15 doctors and an interpreter, served the Ethiopian people fearlessly at Tiruneh-Beijing Hospital, also known as Ethio-China Friendship Hospital since November 2020.