Introductory lecture on traditional Chinese medicine inspires young Ethiopian students

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On Feb.24, 2020, pharmacy workers of a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) hospital in Duchang county, Jiujiang, east China’s Jiangxi province make sachets for aromatherapy. To combat the novel coronavirus pneumonia, Duchang county gives play to its advantages in TCM, recommending TCM prescriptions, promoting TCM treatment and distributing free sachets to local residents. (Photo by Fu Jianbin, People’s Daily Online)
On Feb.24, 2020, pharmacy workers of a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) hospital in Duchang county, Jiujiang, east China’s Jiangxi province make sachets for aromatherapy. To combat the novel coronavirus pneumonia, Duchang county gives play to its advantages in TCM, recommending TCM prescriptions, promoting TCM treatment and distributing free sachets to local residents. (Photo by Fu Jianbin, People’s Daily Online)

Astounded by the nature and evolution of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Rahel, 20, left in awe an introductory lecture on the significance and historical development of TCM.

“It was the first time that I heard about traditional Chinese medicine but the fact that the Chinese were able to preserve, develop and modernize their thousands of years-long traditional medicine knowledge really fascinated me a lot,” Rahel told Xinhua.

Rahel was one of over 20 vibrant young Ethiopian students who are presently pursuing their Chinese language studies at the Confucius Institute at Addis Ababa University (AAU) in the Ethiopian capital. They have attended the introductory lecture that was provided by members of the 23rd Chinese medical team in Ethiopia.

Addressing visibly excited students, Chinese medical team members briefed students about the overall concept, development and history, academic characteristics, achievements, as well as international exchange and cooperation on TCM, among other things.

Rahel emphasized the importance of organizing such awareness creation-themed sessions so as to create a connecting bridge between Ethiopian and Chinese cultures, and eventually augment the people-to-people ties between the two countries.

“I hope China’s successful experience in modernizing its traditional medicine would be applicable in our context too,” she said.

Zhang Zhiren, team leader of the 23rd Chinese medical team in Ethiopia, told students that TCM is a traditional medical science with a unique style gradually formed through long-term medical practice, continuous accumulation and repeated summary, with an extremely rich experience of the Chinese people’s long-term struggle against diseases.

“Today we mainly talked about the culture and important achievements of traditional Chinese medicine. Today’s lecture can show (students) the brilliant history of the TCM, and help you learn about TCM, and develop an interest in TCM,” Zhang said after the introductory lecture.

“Our Chinese medical team has TCM doctors and we really try to help a lot in maintaining the health of Ethiopian people here, and we show TCM treatments and effects to the Ethiopian people. I hope the application of TCM will be more popular here,” he said.

The 23rd Chinese medical team in Ethiopia is a continuation of China’s over four decades-long public health support to the East African country.

The Chinese medical team members, in partnership with the Confucius Institute at the AAU, occasionally organize lectures as part of an effort to fill the knowledge gap and share the Chinese medical technology and treatment to locals in line with the promotion of Chinese culture and language.

The Confucius Institute in AAU, which started operation in Ethiopia back in 2012, has so far registered over 10,000 students who passed through various levels of Chinese language studies. Among them, more than 100 were able to get their Bachelor’s degrees in the Chinese language, according to figures from the institute.

Rahel and fellow Chinese language students emphasized the importance of studying Chinese language as the key to understanding Chinese culture, which includes effectively understanding TCM and its applications.

Courtesy of the ever-blooming Sino-Ethiopian ties, the interest in studying Chinese language is growing fast with newly opening institutes being operational across public universities in different parts of the East African country. Enditem

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