The cooperation between China and Pakistan in the field of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has helped strengthen bilateral relations in recent years.
At the beginning of 2023, health authorities of Sindh Province in Pakistan initiated a program, which proposed that China assist the country in training doctors proficient in the field of TCM.
According to the project organizer, the Sino-Pakistan Cooperation Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine (SPCCTCM) in central China's Hunan Province, the Pakistani side will select the first batch of ten young doctors and send them to the center to carry out a two-year TCM theory learning and clinical practice. After the training, they will return to their hometown to carry out TCM diagnosis and treatment.
SPCCTCM was jointly established by the Hunan University of Medicine and the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences of the University of Karachi in Pakistan in late 2020, aiming to build an international cooperation center integrating healthcare, TCM education and training, scientific research, and industrial cooperation.
"This is the preliminary exploration of SPCCTCM in the training of Pakistani TCM talents," said He Qinghu, co-director of SPCCTCM and president of the Hunan University of Medicine.
He said the training project, with support from both the Chinese and Pakistani governments, will unite TCM colleges and hospitals to train talents with a certain level of TCM theory and clinical practice skills for Pakistan.
Cooperation is "not only an academic exchange but also a cultural exchange, which will help further enhance the friendship between two countries," He said.
Recently, an event was held in Islamabad to mark the return of Pakistani plant seeds from the Chinese space station. A bag containing around seven species of Pakistani herbal seeds was displayed at the event, marking the achievement of cooperation between the two sides in the field of joint breeding.
Chinese and Pakistani researchers at the SPCCTCM will use these seeds to carry out breeding research and study the differences between planting on Earth and in space.
"The results of the research will be beneficial for our Chinese medicine as well as Pakistani botanicals in terms of breeding, specifically in terms of improving efficacy," said He.
The acceptance of TCM in Pakistan has also been increasing these years.
Last year, Raza Shah, a professor who is in charge of the Center for Bioequivalence Studies and Clinical Research at the University of Karachi, announced that the proprietary Chinese medicine, Jinhua Qinggan Granule, had a significant effect on treating COVID-19 patients in Pakistan.
At the same time, the Chinese side is also in communication with the Pakistani side to promote the registration process of another Chinese medicine in Pakistan.
"We will continue to promote the entry of TCM into Pakistan and other countries along the Belt and Road so that Chinese medicine can serve more people in the world," said He.