Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Republic of Congo Officials Eager to Learn More About TCM: Expert
By Dong Feng
Global Times
2020/5/26 23:43:35

During a knowledge exchange session between Republic of Congo officials and the Chinese Medical Mission, a high-level official encouraged the Chinese expert team to share more experience related to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

Wang Junhui and his team have an on-site discussion with medical workers on Friday in the China-Republic of Congo Friendship Hospital when they carried out their last field visit before leaving for Brazzaville. Photo courtesy of Chinese Embassy in DRC

Minister of Health and Population Jacqueline Lydia Mikolo expressed her gratitude to the mission team for lending capable hands to help the Congolese fight against the epidemic. Officials from the ministry expressed great interest in the Chinese medicine treatment against the coronavirus, Wang Junhui, the mission lead assigned by Hebei Health Commission, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

In response to the call for sharing more TCM knowledge, Wang said that the mission is willing to share their experience gained in China without reservation, despite the short stay.

The mission team consists of 11 medical professionals and one interpreter. On Monday afternoon, the team visited the China-Republic of Congo Friendship Hospital, where 85 Congolese medical workers were trained on the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. At the training session, the experts introduced three major prescriptions and types of medicine with a remarkable curative effect, Wang said.

"We noticed that the Congolese treatment is more of one prescription for all," Wang noted, so he and his team shared the concept to customize treatment for different periods among infected patients.

Meanwhile, the team shared the prevention experience using TCM as well as in the rehabilitation period.

At the end of the training, the Chinese experts had an in-depth discussion over the combined usage of TCM and Western medicine.

The Chinese experts arrived in the Republic of the Congo on Saturday after cooperation and training sessions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since May 12.

In the past two days, the expert team has trained 155 Congolese medical professionals, Wang told the Global Times.

During their stay in the DRC, the team has exchanged experience with medical workers who are in charge of 35 regions and eight dedicated hospitals for novel coronavirus patients.

When the mission team arrived in the DRC, the daily testing capacity was in the range of 100-300, with only three testing machines working, Wang recalled. It takes one week in some areas to get the test results.

"The one week duration could also be of high risk for infection too."

The experts noticed that there were extra machines that could be used. "These were donated from China in August 2019 to the DRC for testing the Ebola virus," he said.

His teammates got into contact with the machine maker in China for installment instructions and on-site training for the medical workers. "By the time we left, the testing capacity reached almost 500 each day," Wang said.

Talking about the challenges, Wang said that during the on-site knowledge exchange sessions, he and his colleagues noticed there were chances in some hospitals to get infected while working, so they gave advice about how to change the situation.

In some areas, there are no dedicated clinics for fever symptoms, Wang added.

"We hosted an online videoconference for training in the DRC, and the session lasted more than three hours," Wang said. Many doctors asked us questions after the introduction part and they praised our help and support, he said.

The mission team took a charter flight and offered protection equipment valued at about 5 million yuan ($700,000).

"The good news is, since there are more infectious diseases in Africa, residents might have higher immunity, which is why we have not seen a pandemic situation yet," Wang said.

"The prevention and control forces are relatively strong too."

To express their gratitude, the DRC officials awarded each expert a certificate to acknowledge their contribution in fighting against COVID-19 together.

"I'm very surprised and impressed by the gesture," Wang said.

Working with their peers, the mission team had few chances to communicate with their families as there is a seven-hour time difference between the two countries.

As of Tuesday, there are 487 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Republic of Congo.

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