Turning herbs into hope

18 Mar 2022

In response to the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to a huge upsurge in the number of confirmed cases and a high fatality rate, the HKBU Chinese medicine team reacted quickly to launch the "Free Online Consultation Service for COVID-19 Patients" in mid-February. 


Within the space of two weeks, classrooms were turned into war rooms and an online consultation centre. A lecture theatre was turned into a "factory" for packing and dispensing herbal medicine. Chinese medicine was stacked up high in the pharmacy, and the staff relentlessly dispensed medicine. Selfless Chinese medicine practitioners, students and alumni have devoted themselves to helping with the online consultations and the related logistics day after day. A generous donation from Tencent through the Tencent Charity Foundation has also enabled the University to offer and deliver free herbal medicine to patients.


With limited manpower, interruptions to clinical operations and a shortage of herbal medicine in Hong Kong due to COVID, this should not have been possible, but by putting our heads and hearts together, we have managed to turn herbs into hope, pain into power, sickness into strength. The online consultation service can now serve up to 1,000 COVID patients every day, and so far, over 13,000 patients, close contacts and carers have been served. Our efforts were recognised by Mrs Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive of the HKSAR, who learned about the free online consultation service during her visit to the centre on 12 March. Please click here to view how the centre operates.


In addition, with its extensive experience of diagnosing and treating COVID patients over the past two years, and with reference to treatment protocols and the Mainland's clinical experience, the School of Chinese Medicine has established a clinical pathway and compiled the "COVID-19 Chinese Medicine Diagnosis and Treatment Protocols for Hong Kong". It covers the Chinese medicine approach to the prevention of COVID-19, as well as the treatment and rehabilitation of patients with mild to moderate cases of the disease. Given the unique climatic environment of Hong Kong and our body constitutions, our Chinese medicine experts have established a protocol that takes into account the special local features. The protocol aims to standardise HKBU's clinical treatments for COVID-19 and provide an operational reference for the Chinese medicine sector.