The COVID-19 outbreak has brought unprecedented challenges to Hong Kong and, according to data from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the highest fatality rate has been in adults aged over 80. In view of this, Lingnan University in Hong Kong (LU) has launched a brand new programme to promote using Chinese medicine to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in older adults, and reduce the infection risk in the spirit of “prevention is better than cure”.
Sponsored by the Chinese Medicine Development Fund and carried out by the Lingnan University Chinese Medicine Clinic (LUCMC), the project is divided into two phases: “During the epidemic” and “After the epidemic has eased”.
In the first phase, Prof Albert Leung Wing-nang, Professor of Clinical Practice at School of Graduate Studies and Director of LUCMC as well as a registered Chinese medicine practitioner, will visit elderly service providers, including district elderly community centres and residential care homes, to teach supervisors and frontline nursing staff how to make herbal soups that boost immunity against viruses and disease. Pre-recorded lectures will be uploaded to social media platforms, explaining how Chinese medicine can help prevent and minimise the risk of COVID-19 infection.
“In traditional Chinese medicine, we emphasise that ‘prevention is better than cure’, therefore it’s better to strengthen people’s immunity than to treat them,” said Prof Leung. “We believe Chinese medicine can improve people’s general health, develop resilience as well as maintaining their wellbeing. This programme aims to help older adults to acquire a basic knowledge of Chinese medicine, so as to boost their own immune system to fight the coronavirus effectively.”
Two half-day seminars will be held in the second phase of the programme, and a booklet entitled “Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19 for the Elderly -- Chinese Medicine” will be published and circulated to the elderly and their carers. All events will be videotaped and distributed to elderly service providers and organisations in all 18 districts to promote Chinese medicine in preventing disease.
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