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Namibia’s youth and elderly make
use of TCM to get back on their feet 

WINDHOEK (Xinhua) -- Endless trips to physiotherapists were the order of the day for 29 year old, Sakaria Martins, before trying traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) at Katutura Hospital in the country’s capital Windhoek.

Martins who is a driver by profession was experiencing lower back pain that affected his work performance.

He could no longer drive and conduct his daily job duties which are his livelihood in a country which has an unemployment rate which hovers around 34 percent.

“I could not sleep and if I did sleep, I would wake up in the middle of the night with excruciating pain. But that has changed now since I commenced with acupuncture sessions,” he told Xinhua during one of his treatments.

Martins is one of the patients being treated by the Chinese medical team in the country.

According to Martins, for the past three weeks acupuncture therapy has been administered to his lower back and he gladly said that he will soon go back to work after a few more sessions which have brought him much needed relief.

Dr. Chu Hailin from Zhejiang Chinese Medical University and the 12th Chinese Medical Team leader in Namibia said that Martins has shown some remarkable recovery from the sessions and soon he would be back on his feet.

Another patient who has gained from TCM treatment is 75 year old, Shelly Townes, who suffers from chronic back pain which has been a hindrance since birth.

“My back has always been a problem. Over the years I have tried different medical procedures but to no avail as the back problems persist,” she said.

Laying on her back at the Katurara Hospital with needles protruding from her back and leg, she smiled and said I have finally found some relief from years of pain through TCM therapy.

“I was opting to get a hip replacement and other corrective procedures but ever since TCM has been administered, I have had less pain and will continue with the treatments,” she added.

According to Chu, the Chinese medical team has been working around the clock, as TCM has gained popularity in the southwestern African country.

“On a daily basis we get up to 70 to 100 patients who require different treatments from migraines, chronic pains and other ailments. We use tui na, acupuncture, cupping as well as Chinese creams and herbs for the different ailments,” he added.

Chu said that his team has handled 5,445 patients since June this year in Windhoek and hopes next year the team will be able to travel to the remote areas of the country as currently TCM is being administered only in Windhoek.

The 12th Chinese Medical Team to Namibia are treating patients free of charge at the Chinese Acupuncture Department of Katutura State Hospital. China sent its first medical team to Namibia in 1996.

Meanwhile, Sister Nghishongwa Penehafo, who assists the Chinese Medical Team said that the locals have embraced the treatments and the message of TCM has traveled across the country. “Many of the patients who have experienced TCM have less pain after multiple treatments and can now sleep easier,” she said.

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