Going into our second year of the pandemic, we still have no standardized treatment and management of Covid-19. Vaccines and preventive medicines are still not widely used. In the recent webinar I attended, I learned how Eastern and Western medicine worked together to solve the pandemic in China. Entitled “Learning from the China Experience – Control and Surge Prevention”, it emphasized the use of Lianhua Qingwen Capsule and other traditional Chinese medicines (TCM).
Learning from the China Experience Webinar
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Service Institute presented a webinar featuring prominent figures in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). They were instrumental in the pandemic management in China. The virtual event was co-presented by Philippine Archipelago International Trading Corporation.
Heading the Chinese medical figures was Academician Zhang Boli, Honorary President of the Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. He was also the recipient of the national honorary title of People’s Hero, awarded in August 2020.
Meanwhile, Dr. Jia Zhenhua is a Chief Physician of TCM. He is also a Doctoral Supervisor and President of Hebei Institute of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine.
On the Philippine side, guests included National Task Force Deputy Chief Implementor and Testing Czar Secretary Vince Dizon. NTF Contact Tracing Czar and Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong was also present.
The Philippine Situation
The program was opened by words from the Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary, Hon. Teodoro Locsin, Jr. He opened by setting the stage for our current COVID-19 situation. Stating facts, he said that there are over 4 million deaths and 186 million infections globally, which is increasing every day.
“This webinar highlights knowledge sharing as one of if not the most essential form of cooperation in managing COVID-19. The slogan is: No one is safe unless everyone is safe.” he said.
In the next talk, Mayor Benjamin Magalong discussed the case study of Baguio City and how the city navigated through the pandemic. He discussed how proactive contact tracing efforts and control efforts enabled them to control the spread of the virus.
Moreover, Mayor Magalong discussed the importance of the PDITR strategy, which stands for Prevent, Detect, Isolate, Treat, and Reintegrate. This strategy simply cuts off the viral transmission chain. He added how vital cooperation was to the efficacy of all preventive and control efforts, not only for Baguio City.
The implementation of a top-down, side-to-side, and bottom-up approach basically ensures that having proper communication and information dissemination to the entire community. To end his presentation, he touched on the city’s Recovery and Resiliency Plan and the goal of becoming a Smart City by 2022.
Covid-19 Vaccination Rollouts
Meanwhile, Secretary Vince Dizon reported on the National Vaccination Program. He thanked the Chinese foreign service representatives for their continuous supplies of Chinese vaccines. To date, China is still the country’s largest supplier of COVID-19 Vaccines at 12 million (11mil procured doses + 1mil donated). He had also thanked Philippine Archipelago International Trading Corporation President, Olivia Limpe-Aw, as EUA Holder of Sputnik V Vaccines, for the continuous supply.
Traditional Chinese Medicine: Lianhua Qingwen capsule
Dr. Jia Zhenhua then discussed the use of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the prevention and treatment of respiratory infectious diseases in China. He broke down COVID-19 based on Collateral Disease Theory and discussed how this is treated through the TCM approach.
One treatment that was mentioned was Lianhua Qingwen capsule, which is widely used and distributed in major drugstores in the Philippines.
Covid-19 Management in China
Academician Zhang Boli, one of the most prominent figures in China’s fight against COVID-19 explains why COVID is considered the “Plague of the Century.”
He expounded by showing data regarding the effects and evolution of the virus. After his brief introduction on the effects and symptoms of Covid in China, he stressed how preventive measures were executed. He also discussed the importance of early intervention to reduce the severe conversion rate of the virus.
Moreover, he emphasized the integration of Chinese and Western medicine with comprehensive rehabilitation treatment, stressing the importance of medication. These practices include breathing training, physical therapy, Taichi etc., and psycho-therapy to prevent after-effects of the Covid-19 infection. Some of the obvious effects are physical injury (damage to immune function, heart, lungs, and kidneys). Then there is the psychological trauma that includes insomnia, anxiety, and depression.
He also introduced Xuanfei Baidu Decoction, another traditional Chinese medicine widely used in China’s fight against COVID-19. “Quarantine without medicine is only half the success,” he said through an interpreter. Academician Zhang Boli shared this knowledge with the world through donations of traditional Chinese medicine, like Lianhua Qingwen Capsule, to different countries. The exchange of knowledge (like the webinar) was also done in other countries.
Philippine Archipelago International Trading Corporation
PAITC President Olivia Limpe-Aw summarized the webinar and drew the conclusion that there are definitely similarities in terms of experiences, government policies, and values between both countries. In fact, significant learnings gathered from all panelists cover the following:
- Early intervention
- Quarantine with medication
- Integration of Chinese and Western medicine
- Rehabilitation treatment
All these help to increase the curative rate and reduce the mortality rate due to the virus.
Learning that there are two other Chinese medicines to treat COVID-19 aside from Lianhua Qingwen capsule is something new to us. It’s good to know that there are other options that we hope will be available in the Philippines in the next few months. Since COVID-19 looks like it isn’t going away that quickly, we will have to learn to manage and mitigate so we can all operate in the new normal.
Vaccination against Covid-19 is very important. But even when vaccinated, we should not forget our daily personal and household prevention measures. We should also remember emotion management – keep positive, avoid anxiety, and maintain a healthy lifestyle, closes Academician Zhang Boli.