Mukudzei Chingwere-Herald Reporter
The recently opened Traditional Chinese Medicine Clinic offering free acupuncture treatment in a partnership between the Zimbabwean and Chinese governments is offering relief to local patients in need for alternative treatment.
The clinic is operating from Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, with both local and Chinese doctors attending to patients visiting the facility.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles through the skin into strategic body points.
It is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicines to treat pain and is now increasingly becoming popular across the world for stress management.
The World Health Organisation recommends acupuncture for treatment of adverse reactions to radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and allergies including hay fever, after it proved to be effective treatment through controlled trials.
China, where acupuncture originated, is becoming one of the world’s most popular “go to” medical tourist destinations, especially for patients coming from developing countries.
Embracing some of China’s medical interventions is in line with Zimbabwe’s quest for improvement by tapping into global best practices.
Dr Karen Gurure, a Zimbabwean clinician who also attends to cases at the Parirenyatwa Acupuncture Clinic, said acupuncture was gaining popularity as an alternative, especially for patients seeking free treatment.
She said acupuncture was not a substitute to what they were already using, but was mainly used to control pain for patients who were already receiving other treatment, like those recovering from stroke.
“Acupuncture is slowly becoming very popular in Zimbabwe,” said Dr Gurure.
“We are receiving in excess of 50 patients each day.
“There are a lot of benefits for acupuncture. Most of the people would have done everything and will be seeking help with pain maybe after a stroke. Some come for conditions like fibroids among others.
“Basically, acupuncture is complementing what we are already using in our health system, it is not a substitute of what we have been doing.”
Dr Zhu Wei, who is also working at the facility at Parirenyatwa, implored the Zimbabwean and Chinese governments to open more clinics in other towns.
“The effects of acupuncture treatment are significant,” he said.
“Many people who have different kinds of pain like low back pain, headache, migraine, pain in the neck, knees and joints experienced instant relief after acupuncture.
“Patients with hypertension and diabetes are also getting better after several sessions of acupuncture.”
Dr Zhu said most of the patients they were attending to were referrals from patients they would have treated, highlighting the need to expand their operations.
“They are spreading the good effects among their friends, so more and more people are coming for acupuncture treatment,” he said. “I will recommend the Chinese government to open more clinics in other towns.”
Zimbabwe and China enjoy excellent relations and have been partnering in several areas, particularly economically for the benefit of their respective citizenry.
Economic cooperation is in line with President Mnangagwa’s vision of pursuing economic diplomacy as the country is marching towards attainment of an upper middle income society by 2030.