Overwhelming turnout at acupuncture camp in Gelephu

Taking the service to the people, the Department of Traditional Medicine Services under the Health Ministry is currently carrying out an acupuncture camp in Gelephu. A week-long camp set up at the Gelephu Central Regional Referral Hospital is seeing an overwhelming number of people receiving the treatment. The camp ends tomorrow.

Taking advantage of the opportunity, more than 1,300 people turned up to get the treatment which otherwise is only available in Thimphu.

“Travelling to Thimphu incurs a huge expense. And it’s more difficult when you have no one in Thimphu. We are thankful for the service. Before, I wasn’t able to put my legs on the ground due to the pain. But after getting treated, I have been able to walk,” said Tshering, a patient who came to get the treatment.

“With support from the health staff and the availability of the service, we have benefitted immensely from the treatment. We are grateful,” said Tashi Chozom, another patient.

The health ministry has been organising acupuncture camps to reach the unreached population in other districts. The ministry officially launched the acupuncture treatment in 2018. Until 2017, the treatment was given unofficially.

“Gelephu has been under lockdown and closed from the rest of the country like other southern parts for over two years. That’s why we wanted to bring services in here first thing it opened. And especially because the people over here had not been able to come to Thimphu and avail the service when needed,” said Ugyen Dema Dorji, Program Coordinator of Traditional Medicine Services under the Health Ministry.

Meanwhile, as per officials of the Traditional Medicine Unit in the Gelephu Referral Hospital, more health providers need to be encouraged and trained in acupuncture to take the service given its popularity.

“There are around 60 Dungtshos and around 100 menpas across the country. If the health ministry could provide training to the health staff on Acupuncture treatment, it won’t incur a huge amount. Moreover, it will help facilitate better services to the people,” said Dungstho Tshering Penjor of the Traditional Medicine Unit.

Based on Chinese medicine, acupuncture is believed to improve the body’s energy flow thereby relieving symptoms of diseases. It relieves stress, alleviates back pain, neck pain, and joint pains, improves digestive functions, relieves headaches and improves sleep among others.

Karma Wangdi, Sarpang

Edited by Sonam Pem

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