China, Pakistan sign MoU on TCM cooperationBreaking

November 11, 2022

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on medical cooperation has been signed between a Chinese education group and a Pakistani university, as per a statement by China's Tang International Education Group. The MoU, which was signed between Tang International Education Group (TIEG) and Pakistan’s Islamia University of Bahawalpur (IUB), aims to boost cooperation in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) between the two countries, Que Haitao, vice director of overseas operation centre at TIEG, told China Economic Net (CEN) in an interview. Que noted, the cooperation is partly spurred on by the China-Pakistan Health Corridor. “Cooperation on TCM between the two countries has been ongoing for some time,” the vice director said, “and we would like to push it forward through education collaboration.” 

Speaking to CEN, Que said the first step is to collaborate with Pakistani universities to build a China-Pakistan medical centre and cultivate TCM talent at technical, undergraduate and graduate levels. “More will be done to integrate education with the industry, such as formulating academic and industrial standards for TCM,” highlighted the vice director, adding that the group has a team of some 20 international experts to work towards this goal. Such a tie-up may be a supplement to Pakistan’s existing medical education. “Few universities in Pakistan offer courses on traditional medicine such as TCM. Knowledge about traditional medicine may appear in the course of Pharmacy in some Pakistani medical schools,” Prof Dr Yang Zhigang, deputy dean of the School of Pharmacy of Lanzhou University, told CEN in a written interview.

Having conducted a field study of medicinal plants in Pakistan’s plant-rich province of Gilgit Baltistan in 2017, Dr Yang told CEN in a 2021 interview  that Pakistan has thousands of varieties of medicinal plants, and that the country has fallen short on both health-related and economic use of medicinal plants, an integral part of traditional herbal medicine. “Pakistan only has a preliminary study and application of herbal medicine…A lot of valuable herbal plants are wasted during processing,” said Que Haitao, “Working together, we can make better use of such resources and explore more.” Looking forward, Que said that TCM education and ensued industrial collaboration in Pakistan will hopefully bring affordable medical services to the local people.

Credit: Independent News Pakistan-INP