Ethiopia eyes replicating China’s successes in applying traditional medicine to contain COVID-19

Cleaning staff disinfect a metro carriage in Addis Ababa .Ethiopia announced its first COVID-19 death Sunday.PHOTO/AFP

The Ethiopian government on Thursday expressed its keen interest to replicate China’s positive experience in terms of effectively applying traditional Chinese medicine to successfully contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the East African country.

This came after high-level officials from the Ethiopian Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MoIT) as well as the Ethiopian Ministry of Health (MoH) held a video conference with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners and researchers on ways of applying the TCM therapy towards controlling the spread of coronavirus pandemic in the country, the MoIT disclosed in a statement issued on Thursday.

“China, in particular, has agreed to provide to Ethiopia the two types of Chinese traditional medicines that the country applied to successfully treat the first two stages of the novel coronavirus,” a statement from the Ethiopian Ministry of Innovation and Technology read.

The MoIT, noting China’s readiness to share its experiences in successfully applying traditional medicinal products in its COVID-19 control operations, also disclosed that the Chinese side also agreed to help institutionalize Ethiopia’s thousands-years-long traditional medicine practice though technological, material and professional supports that would eventually uplift the use of Ethiopian traditional medicine in the East African country’s fight against the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Ethiopia’s Minister of Innovation and Technology Abraham Belay also stressed during the teleconference meeting with the traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and researchers that the Chinese engagement and support “is injecting a major boost in Ethiopia’s efforts to prevent and contain the spread of coronavirus.”

The Ethiopian innovation and technology minister also reiterated the East African country’s keen interest to collaborate with China in terms of replicating China’s successes towards boosting traditional medicines in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ethiopia, Africa’s second populous nation with over 107 total population, is the latest African country to show keen interest in the use of traditional Chinese medicine.

As the African continent faces an increasingly severe COVID-19 epidemic situation as over 10,692 COVID-19 cases have been reported in some 52 African countries, traditional Chinese medicine is gaining popularity across the continent as it proves effective in treating coronavirus patients in China.

Over decades, Chinese medical teams in Africa have established a solid reputation for applying TCM therapy to treat diseases, many of which are chronic and difficult.