After more than 21 years of exploration in the sector of treatment of HIV/AIDS patients with traditional Chinese medicine, Chinese doctors has gained more experience both for the disease and other chronic diseases.
"Traditional Chinese Medicine project started at the then Muhimbili Medical Center in 1987. At that time, there was no other treatment for the HIV/AIDS patients. " Rosina Lipyoga, assistant director of Clinical Services at the current Muhimbili National Hospital in charge of the project, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.
When anti-retroviral (ARV) AIDS drugs became available in 2004, some patients who met the standard chose the medicine for treatment while some others still used the traditional Chinese medicine, with some progress and efficacy having been achieved, she added.
According to the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two countries in 2006, traditional Chinese Medicine is also allowed to treat patients with chronic diseases, such as asthmatic children and adults, arthritis and gout among others, Lipyoga said.
At the Traditional Chinese Medicine clinic, some patients are glad to see the Chinese doctors to receive some treatment for common diseases, which they alleged have good effects.
After receiving the treatment for a cold, a seven-year-old Tanzanian boy came across his friend, a little girl who came to see the Chinese doctors with her young and elegant mother who worked as a civil servant.
The mother who gave her name as Rose told Xinhua that she trusted the Chinese doctors, received the treatment even for herself, and introduced friends to come to the clinic. It was her who introduced the boy and his mother to come to see the Chinese doctors. She said the Chinese medicine was easier to use. The price of the medicine was also termed as "reasonable".
In Lipyoga's opinion, traditional Chinese Medicine needs to make more advertisement and promotion to let doctors and patients acknowledge the existence of the project to attract more patients.
Lipyoga, who respectively visited China in 2006 and 2008, commended the progress of China's medical sectors as "advanced" as China practices its medicine without interruption from outside world.
Calling for more investment in the project, She also expected the cooperation between local doctors and the Chinese doctors could be strengthened to develop the Tanzanian traditional herbs.
For his part, Bai Wenshan, head of the Traditional Chinese Medicine team, expressed his hope that the project will be expanded to do much more medical research work.
So far, a total of 54 Chinese medical experts have worked at the hospital and 1,054 HIV/ AIDS patients had been treated. Although none was cured, 75 percent have had their health status improved.
(Xinhua News Agency July 15, 2009)