KHARTOUM — Mohamed, a senior Sudanese military officer, felt that the pain in his knee joint was gone after visiting twice what he called "the magic needle room" — a Chinese clinic inside the presidential palace in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.
"Acupuncture is amazing and magic!" said Mohamed, who requested to be identified only by his first name, recalling the therapy of "warm needle acupuncture" that he received at the clinic.
The clinic, which was set up two decades ago, has been operating with the help of consecutive teams of Chinese doctors sent to Sudan to provide medical assistance.
Before the treatment, Mohamed's left knee was sensitive to environmental coldness, a symptom called Cold Arthralgia in traditional Chinese medicine. The Chinese acupuncturist at the clinic treated his knee with "warm needle acupuncture", in which fire needles are applied at strategic points on the body.
The practice of "warm needle acupuncture", which dates back to as early as China's Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220), has long proved to be effective in treating certain pains in the body. After his amazing experience at the clinic, Mohamed recommended the "magic needle treatment" to his fellow soldiers.
Each workday, about 40 to 50 patients visit the clinic for traditional Chinese therapy, which combines acupuncture and moxibustion, a form of heat therapy in which a herb is burned on or above the skin to warm and stimulate an acupuncture point or affected area. Both treatments are known for their simple procedures and effectiveness.
Abdelaziz Ahmed Sadd, director of the medical unit at the Sudanese presidential palace, has cooperated with dozens of Chinese doctors at the clinic in the past two decades.
Sadd spoke highly of the TCM, which is gaining wider acceptance among the Sudanese. "Chinese acupuncture is an effective treatment with excellent results. Most of the patients who received the treatment have shown great improvement regarding the symptoms and reduced the use of medical drugs," he said.
Acupuncture offers many physical and psychological benefits, such as pain relief, easing of depression and allergy, as well as curing facial paralysis and stroke, he said.
"China is a pioneer in acupuncture treatment, and the Chinese method is recognized globally. It has benefited mankind and contributed to the medical field," said Sadd, expressing the hope for increased cooperation between China and Sudan in the medical domains in the future.
"Good job, Chinese friend," most Sudanese patients would say so after receiving treatment at the clinic, said An Peng, a Chinese doctor who has been working at the clinic for 4 months.
Since the arrival of the first batch of Chinese doctors in Sudan in 1971, China has so far sent to the African country a total of 37 medical teams that comprise more than 1,100 medical personnel. They have treated about 8 million Sudanese patients and conducted more than 200,000 major surgeries in total, according to official statistics.