By Wei Mengjia and Shao Haijun

ACCRA, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) — In almost every early morning, a group of Ghanaian patients are waiting outside the therapy room of the “New East Hospital” in downtown Accra, capital of Ghana, hoping for an early turn to see a Chinese doctor.

When hearing his name, Kingsly Anane, a 45-year-old Ghanaian accountant, rapidly walked into the therapy room, climbed up the bed, waiting for his Chinese doctor, Xu Kang, to do a traditional Chinese medical massage for him.

“I had waist pains for over one year. I went different local hospitals and they told me to do X-rays, but afterwards, they said they couldn’t find the problem. I took various kind of western medicine but the pain still persisted,” Anane said, receiving the body massage.

“When I came here, the doctor told me that he’s going to do massage and acupuncture to me. When he did it, I wasn’t feeling the pain again. It’s quite magical! ”

In another small therapy room, three female patients were laying on bed, receiving acupuncture treatment. Before came to the hospital, needle punching was quite horrible to Beatrice Addae, but now the 58-year-old hotelier was quietly laying on the bed, with several needles inserted in her legs.

She told Xinhua that she had the incessant pains in her legs for years and it was only after visiting this hospital that the pain receded. “They gave me injections and herbal medicine which are quite helpful,” Addae said, “The Chinese doctors are so good and they did their best to their knowledge.”

Renowned as the “Gold Coast” in western Africa, Ghana has been dragged behind by heavy medical and health burden due to scarce medical resource, such as the lack of doctors, nurses, medicine, and medical equipment. The high price of imported western medicine always depresses common Ghanaians from seeing a doctor.

The first Chinese acupuncture center was set up in 1988 in Accra. From then on, some Chinese doctors successively came to Ghana, and established their clinics, to fill the gap by providing traditional Chinese medicine and medical treatment, which have been developed in China for more than 2,000 years, including various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, cupping, massage, exercise, and dietary therapy.

More and more local patients, especially those suffering from rheumatism and joint pains, have benefited from Chinese herbal medicine and practices. The “New East Hospital” is one of Chinese hospitals widely welcomed by patients.

The director of the hospital, 41-year-old Xu Qinwei, was born in a traditional Chinese medicine family and has been a doctor for more than ten years. He told Xinhua they decided to come to Ghana to open a hospital after his brother, a famous herbal doctor in Shandong Province in Eastern China, successfully cured an invited Ghanaian “Nana”, one city chief in Ghana, when he suffered from serious cerebral infarction during the first Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in 2000. The Nana later invited his Chinese doctor for several times to open a hospital in Ghana, hoping the Chinese magic herbal medicine can cure more Ghanaians.

After several research, the hospital finally opened in early 2010 in Accra. Today, it has altogether 21 medical personnel including four Chinese doctors, with more than 50 local patients each day.

Xu said they are serving patients with about 150 Chinese herbal medicine for curing the common diseases in Ghana like rheumatism which is very common because of the way Ghanaians carry load on their head, skin diseases, birth control, female diseases, malaria and cardiovascular and osteopathic diseases. For convenience, nurses everyday boil the medicine and put the liquid medicine into bottles for patients to take away.

However, the most popular one is still the physical therapy of acupuncture, cupping and massage. The young Chinese doctor, Xu Kang, is the only physiatrist here, perhaps also the busiest doctor.

“Patients here like the Chinese traditional medicine and treatment which have a long history in China, especially acupuncture that can effectively curb some diseases like rheumatism and hemiplegia,” he said.

Based on the reasonable price and remarkable effect, the traditional Chinese medicine has gradually rooted in Ghana during more than 20 years. Local Ghanaians have also known more about Chinese medicine.

Xu said that Ghanaians’ attitude to Chinese medicine is very encouraging as patients always show their thankful to the doctors and keep on recommending the hospital to others after they had been cured.

“The locals have accepted Chinese medicine and doctors well. They think the acupuncture, cupping and massage are the best, and everyone can benefit from it,” he noted.

To help more patients, director Xu Qinwei decided to buy some medical equipment in the future and also hopes to cultivate a base of Chinese medicinal plants in Ghana. He has even explored an experimental plot in the small garden of hospital and successfully planted several important Chinese medicinal herbs, such as honeysuckle, herba houttuyniae, ophiopogon root, and caulis lonicerae.

In his idea, more traditional Chinese doctors should come to Africa to help ease the pains of Africans and also popularize the Chinese medicine science.

“It’s necessary to let Africans know Chinese traditional medicine. Firstly, because it is safer due to its naturalness and do not have drug-resistance to human body; secondly, it’s affordable to African patients. So I believe the traditional Chinese medicine and treatment have a potential market in Africa in the future,” Xu said.

Editor: Zhu Ningzhu


  1. Please I have been battling with a vascular necrosis for both hips past two years and the doctors recommend total hip replacement. I want to know if I can be healed without the operation?


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