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Bates College

Publication Date

Fall 2013

Program Name

China: Language, Cultures, and Ethnic Minorities


Although modern medicine has found a cure for Tuberculosis (TB), it remains a worldwide health threat. Due to poor adherence to TB chemotherapya multi-drug resistant strain of the TB bacteria (MDR-TB) has been created.It has been found that poor adherence is caused by many factors, two of which include the high cost of treatment and the many uncomfortable side effects. Through a month of research based in Kunming, China including interviews, observations and surveys,this project hoped to compare Western biomedicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to determine the potential benefits TCM holds for TB patients. TCM improves a TB patient’s physical and emotional well being, therefore holding the potential to improve their adherence to TB drugs, reduce relapse rates, reduce costs and slow down the creation of both the TB and MDR-TB epidemic.The Chinese medical system deeply separates TCM and Western medical practice and therefore underutilizes theses many benefits.Improved education is the key for future treatment success in China. Providing training for TCM doctors to better recognize the symptoms of TB, and for Western-trained Chinese doctors to understand the benefits of herbal or acupuncture treatments, could benefit TB treatment in China and worldwide.


International Public Health | Public Health | Public Health Education and Promotion


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