First Traditional Chinese Medicine Centre Opens in Zimbabwe

The Vice President of Zimbabwe, Constantino Chiwenga, on Friday, announced the inauguration of the Zimbabwe-China Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Acupuncture Centre in the South African country.

The Centre is the first of its kind in the country, Chiwenga who doubles as Zimbabwe’s Minister of Health and Child Care said while speaking through a video conference platform at the official opening of the centre at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in Harare.

Chiwenga said that the new centre would complement Zimbabwe’s health care system.

“Experience has shown that the medicine in a health care protocol improves outcome for patients.

“The medicine can provide good support to patients, who suffer from some conditions, particularly those that are chronic and degenerative; for example, low back pain,’’ he said.

“I am, therefore, confident that the new facilities at the hospital will improve the quality of service and infrastructure for patients and staff both in the immediate future and in the years to come.’’

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Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Guo Shaochun, said the opening of the centre marks a new chapter of cooperation in the health sector between China and Zimbabwe.

Shaochun said cooperation between the two countries in the field of public health demonstrates the mutual desire to promote the China-Africa community with a shared future between the two sides.

“Under the framework of building a community of common health for both China and Africa, China and Zimbabwe will be campaigning to strengthen cooperation on health and give full play to the unique advantages of TCM,’’ he said through a video conference platform.

Shaochun said in spite of the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the two sides managed to complete construction of the centre successfully.

“This is another outcome of our joint efforts to promote the health of Zimbabwean people and has shown the determination of Chinese and Zimbabwean people to enhance health cooperation and to fight against COVID-19 together,’’ he said.

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Shaochun said in the future, the centre will become a TCM medical institution with full diagnosis and treatment capacities.

Speaking to the media, Director of Pathological Services in the Ministry of Health, Maxwell Hove said the opening of the clinic was a very important development for Zimbabwe’s healthcare system.

“This is a very important development for us, that we have a place where our patients can have their pain relieved without being operated and without going into invasive procedures.

“Even if we have a shortage of medicine and a shortage of analgesic pharmaceuticals, then we know there is an alternative place where we can go and have the pain relieved,’’ Hove said.

Director for Traditional Complementary and Integrative Medicine in the ministry, Onias Ndoro, said China’s traditional health care system provides valuable lessons to Zimbabwe.

“We are already in the process of trying to standardise our traditional medicine practices and products.

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“So, this is an opportunity for us to learn and improve our practices,’’ Ndoro said.

The establishment of the new TCM centre follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding between China and Zimbabwe on cooperation in the field of TCM and acupuncture.

Zimbabwe and China share a long history of cooperation in the health sector since 1985 through which China has dispatched 17 medical teams to Zimbabwe.

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