Chinese doctors offer training to South Sudanese students on traditional medicine

Tang Youbin (L), Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) expert demonstrates how to conduct acupuncture during a lecture for medical students at Upper Nile University in Juba. / Xinhua

The seventh batch of the China medical team in South Sudan organized a lecture about traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for medical students at the Upper Nile University.

About 100 students of medicine and nursing turned up for the day-long lecture given by TCM expert Tang Youbin on Friday.

"It was a great chance to learn and if there is any possibility of further learning. I will expand my knowledge and bring it to South Sudan," said Nyikang Andrew Awut, a fifth-year medical student.

John Akot, chairperson of Nursing Students Association at Upper Nile University, said the training was helpful because it exposed some of the cultural practices shared between South Sudanese and Chinese communities.

Akot appreciated the Chinese doctors for sharing their knowledge with the people of South Sudan, adding that he would seek further training in TCM if there are opportunities in the future.

"The lecture was beneficial for me and if I get any chance to learn, I will apply so that I learn more about it," he said.

According to Tang, the use of TCM has a history of about 2,000 years and it involves various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage, exercise, and dietary therapy.

Tang said the training was part of efforts by the Chinese doctors to promote the use of TCM in South Sudan's healthcare system.Among the various TCM remedies, acupuncture, used in the treatment of body pains and several physical and emotional illnesses through pricking the skin or tissues with needles, has so far gained popularity in South Sudan.

"When we came to South Sudan, the first thing for us is cross culture. I want to know your culture and you can know our culture and traditional Chinese medicine is one way of knowing our culture," Tang said.

Simon Deng, Dean of College of Medicine at Upper Nile University said the training exposed the medical students to various forms of therapies used to treat illness across the world.

He said the university seeks to increase engagements with the Chinese doctors in the areas of capacity building.

Since 2013, Chinese doctors have offered free medical services across South Sudan and also helped with capacity building of health workers.

The seventh batch of the Chinese doctors, composed of 13 specialists and two support staff, are currently stationed at the Juba Teaching and Referral Hospital.

They will also be conducting routine outreach programs during their one-year stay in South Sudan.

Xinhua

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