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South Africa, China hold workshop on traditional medicine

Updated: Oct 27, 2021 Xinhua Print
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CAPE TOWN — A four-day workshop aimed at bridging communication between sectors of the African and Chinese traditional medicine for their innovation kicked off on Oct 25 in Cape Town, the legislative capital of South Africa.

The workshop, jointly hosted by the Chinese Embassy in South Africa, the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine of China and the University of the Western Cape, covered various topics including systematization and innovation, practice and training, traditional herb usage and regulating, research for poverty reduction and COVID-19 pandemic.

South Africa and China have a long-term cooperation in traditional medicine, and the two countries enjoy collaboration in this sector through research between universities of the two countries, said Aunkh Chabalala, director of indigenous knowledge-based technology innovation at South Africa's Department of Science and Innovation, at the opening session.

"We will be learning a lot from Chinese (experts), we will be also looking into what things that we can learn in order to achieve our roadmap (for including traditional medicine in the national healthcare system)," Bruce Mbedzi, director for traditional medicine in South Africa's Department of Health, said at the opening.

Provincial coordinators of South African traditional medicine will be developing an idea of how they are going to implement South Africa's roadmap, and the country's traditional health practitioners will observe and learn from Chinese experience to improve their practices, he said, adding that the event will also share experience on commercializing and industrializing tractional medicine.

This event will not only increase South African practitioners' understanding of traditional Chinese medicine, but also promote cooperation in the field of tradition medicine between China and South Africa in the future, according to the Minister-Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in South Africa Shen Long.

By the establishment of an integrative system combining both traditional Chinese medicine and western medicine, China has achieved good clinical efficacy in the prevention and control of the pandemic. The advantages of traditional Chinese medicine in the treatment of COVID-19 include effective relief of symptoms, improvement of cure rate, reducing death rates, and promoting rehabilitation, he said.

Zhu Haidong, Deputy Director General of International Cooperation Department at National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine of China, said he hopes the workshop will enhance understanding of African traditional medicine and traditional Chinese medicine with a view of contributing to people's health in South Africa.

South African participants will also observe medical diagnoses and treatments of traditional Chinese medicine.

The workshop will be followed by a South African and Chinese traditional medicine forum, held by the Department of Science and Innovation of South Africa and the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine of China.

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