Chinese traditional medicine and acupuncture, hold promise of new health revolution in Zim

Marie-France Baron (right) with Chinese doctors, Dr Zeng (left) and Dr Zhu at Parirenyatwa Hospital recently

Albert Chavhunduka

Rumbidzai Gondo suffered a life-changing stroke in her right side at just 30 years old.

For three years, she tried many alternatives including conventional medicines and even went for a surgery but to no avail and her condition did not change.

“I had a stroke about three years ago and my right side was not functioning at all. I have received a lot of treatment before using conventional medicines but nothing changed. So I was advised to take acupuncture and right now both my legs are working properly. The right hand is still struggling a bit but the progress has been good. Yes, acupuncture takes time but it has no side effects. Now my body can make movements that I couldn’t make before,” says Rumbidzai.

Marie-France Baron has been suffering from various ailments for over 10 years.

She has been receiving treatment at the China-Zimbabwe Traditional Medicine Centre (TCM) at Parirenyatwa Hospital since last year.

“I have been treated at this clinic since it was set up a year ago and my experience has been exceptionally good. I have been treated with traditional Chinese Medicine exclusively since 2010 and for me it has been the best treatment I’ve ever received,” she says.

“Traditional Chinese medicine is not about some of the misconceptions that most people have and the methods of traditional Chinese which include acupuncture and herbals date back to a traditional that is over 5000 years old and it is well documented. I would urge my Zimbabwean citizens to actually try Chinese medicine if they have serious health conditions and put their faith in these Chinese doctors and we are so lucky to have them.”

Doctors attend to Chipiwa Harukangamwe

64-year-old Chipiwa Harukangamwe is another patient receiving treatment at the center. She suffered a stroke on her left side and she was receiving her second treatment at the facility.

“I suffered a stroke on my left side and I came here for my first treatment. I was sweating a lot and I was not even able to do any chores. Since my first treatment, I have seen changes because when I first came I could not even walk but now I can walk on my own,” said Mrs Harukangamwe.

She’s sharing a room with Mavis Tsikwa, who has a similar condition. Mavis suffered a stroke, and she cannot feel her body from the waist to the chest area and she’s been subjected to acupuncture.

“I could not feel my body from the waist to the breast area and I had a lot of pain in my left side. I arrived here today and it’s my first time but I have been given some medicines and I feel much better now compared to the state I was in when I first came in,” says Mavis.

In an interview with the Review and Mail, Dr Zhu a neurologist working at the newly refurbished Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Center at Parirenyatwa hospital said Chinese team is made up of doctors from different backgrounds and specialisations who are helping the local people.

“There are eight doctors currently working at the hospital and they are all from different specialties including neurology, cardiology and radiology as well as traditional Chinese medicine like acupuncture. Our main job is to help the local people who have various health conditions and to help them with knowledge of how to control and treat various diseases and ailments,” said Dr Zhu.

Dr Zhu added that the main task of TCM and Acupuncture Center to compliment the health system in the country and improve the health services in Zimbabwe through the introduction of alternative Chinese traditional medicines.

“The main purpose of the Center is to provide Chinese traditional medicine and acupuncture treatment for the local people. We have more than 20 patients here suffering from various diseases and acupuncture is very effective and helpful for their conditions,” he said.

“We are also training the local medical stuff to master acupuncture. This is the 19th medical batch to come to Zimbabwe and every year we perform more than 100 surgeries and assist more than one thousand patients to recover.”

The acupuncture treatment offered at the center has been successful in providing treatment for ailments associated with cardio vascular problems, headaches, digestive among many others and the medical treatments are free of charge.

The refurbished Chinese Traditional Medicine and Acupuncture Center was inaugurated in 2020 as part of the Zimbabwe-China cooperation in the health sector.

Acupuncture is part of the ancient practice of traditional Chinese medicine.

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