Health Minister wants research between China and Guyana on folk medicine

Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence wants to push joint research activities in the use of alternative or folk medicine between Guyana and China.

According to a press release form the Ministry of Public Health, Lawrence told Yuanzheng Huang, Vice Mayor of Lianyungang, during a courtesy call at her office on Monday that she is looking forward for a pact between Guyana and China to establish a research laboratory utilising the rich flora and fauna of the Amazon.

China “has a lot to offer after blazing the trail for the last 300 years” the release quoted Lawrence as telling Huan whose country has popularised the use of folk medicine as part of the regimen offered to patients.

Since taking over the public health portfolio, Lawrence has been exploring ways of guaranteeing the acceptance of local alternative, folk or traditional medicine “within the governmental structure.”

“China has a huge advantage in the use of traditional medicine,” the release quoted Huang as saying.

The release quoted the World Health Organisation (WHO) as defining traditional medicine as “the sum of the total knowledge, skills and practices based on the theories, beliefs and experiences indigenous to different cultures, whether explicable or not, used in the maintenance of health as well as in the prevention, diagnosis improvement of treatment of physical and mental illness.”

According to the release, the global health industry has highlighted the difference between alternative medicine and quackery, noting that “inappropriate use of traditional medicine can be harmful to users.”

Guyana and China established diplomatic relations in 1972 and both Lawrence and Huang spoke of deepening their ties, strengthening their bonds and pushing for “better understanding of each other” in the words of Huang who is Vice Mayor of a city more than five times the population of Guyana, the release stated.

According to the release, Lawrence said the Chinese doctors’ expertise has helped reduce maternal deaths nationwide in the last two years. Public Health Ministry statistics show that maternal death fell from 111 per 100,000 in 2015 to 101 per 100,000 last year.

This is “no doubt because of the input of your doctors,” the release quoted Lawrence as telling the 11-person delegation when they met at her Brickdam, Georgetown office.

Part of the delegation accompanying Huang on Monday were Xiaoming Li of the No 1 Hospital, Hui Shi of the No 2 Hospital; Wei Zhou, Director of the Health Bureau and De yong Fan, Director of International Exchange.

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