The 2019 Traditional Chinese Medicine Workshop for High-End Professionals Along the Belt and Road is a flagship programme by China government to promote the integration of western medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine in countries along the Belt and Road. The Belt and Road or commonly known as Silk Road, was an ancient network of trade routes, established since Han Dynasty of China where there was constant exchange of culture, art, religion, philosophy, technology, language, science, and architecture. The glory of the ancient Silk Road shows that geographical distance is insurmountable. Dr Mai Chun Wai and Dr Lim Swee Geok from IMU School of Pharmacy and School of Health Sciences respectively were among the 25 select participants to join the 2019 Traditional Chinese Medicine Workshop for High-End Professionals Along the Belt and Road. Other participants of this workshop were from Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Egypt, Hungary, Malta, Morocco, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Thailand and United States of America. To date, more than 100 scholars have joined this programme.
The workshop invited policy makers, clinicians and renowned academicians to share on how Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been used to diagnose, treat and prevent illness for more than 2500 years. This workshop saw many very interactive discussions and clinical exchanges between the speakers and participants. It was also an eye-opening experience for the participants to see the impact of TCM in the respective case studies presented. In addition to the programme arranged by International Education College of Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SHUTCM), the participants were also invited to join the 2nd Shanghai Forum for World Traditional Medicine and 2019 Annual Meeting of Committee of Standardization Construction of World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies (18 Oct 2019) and the 2nd International Tai Chi Health Seminar (19 Oct 2019). The organising committee of the forums had invited experts from China, United States, Germany, Japan, Thailand, Australia, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. One of these speakers was Dr Goh Cheng Soon, Director, Traditional and Complementary Medicine (T&CM) Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia who shared on the development of T&CM practice, education, training, product registration, research and international collaboration at the forum. The speakers in this forum also shared their respective countries’ strategies in TCM development, World Health Organization (WHO) TCM report, WHO-ICD-11, and the development of ISO/TC249, an international standard in standardising TCM products. Dr Mai and Dr Lim were also invited to participate in a dialogue with Yang Berbahagia Datuk Seri Dr Haji Dzulkefly bin Ahmad, Health Minister of Malaysia during his visit to China. For this visit, he was accompanied by Datuk Dr Hj Rohaizat bin Hj Yon (Deputy Director General of Health) and Dr Goh Cheng Soon. It was a fruitful dialogue among the TCM practitioners and future practitioners around strategies to instill a better health system for Malaysia.
It was also a good opportunity to meet up with IMU alumni from IMU Bachelor of Sciences (Hons) Chinese Medicine and Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) (BPharm), who are completing their MSc studies in SHUTCM. Ng Chun Gan and Tee Wee Chia (IMU Chinese Medicine graduates) are undertaking their Master in Traumatology and Gynaecology respectively while Pang Yee Lin (IMU BPharm graduate) is conducting synthetic chemistry research under the supervision of Prof Xu Hong-Xi, Dean, School of Pharmacy, SHUTCM.
Dr Mai was also invited to share his drug discovery research experience with students from the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SHUTCM). He also commented on the importance of integrated medicine in better healthcare and research.
“I am very impressed with the sharing from one of the speakers, Dr Wuttipong Tirakotai, who is one of the top Thailand neurosurgeons in Prasat Neurological Institute, Bangkok. Dr Wuttipong specialises in brain tumor removal, and facial neuropalsy corrective surgery. He also practices acupuncture for pre- and post-operative neurological damage patients. His passion in integrating western and TCM for a better patient care is truly inspiring! ” – Dr Mai Chun Wai.