Koryo Traditional Medicine: an oriental solution for Yemeni patients [Archives:2009/1224/Health]
As the world is turning more and more to traditional medicine, North Korea has already mastered it and is now exporting this science to the rest of the world. The first Koryo Traditional Medical Center in Yemen was established more than nine months ago to provide Yemenis with an oriental solution to their health problems.
Korean medicine has been steadily developing over the years since ancient times, and perhaps because of the current financial sanctions, North Koreans have developed traditional medicine into a form that can be used to cure many modern day diseases.
The Koryo Center for Traditional and Eastern Medicine is a private medical institution set up as a joint venture between Dr. Ayed Al-Sorihi who runs the center and the North Korean Government who supplies the center with qualified staff. Currently there are four doctors (three men and one woman) carrying degrees in general medicine and surgery as well as masters degrees in Koryo Traditional Medicine. The doctors are assisted by two nurses specialized in Koryo Traditional Medicine.
“The idea started when I met a few North Korean engineers who had participated in the construction projects during the Yemeni Unity anniversary in 2007 celebrated in Ibb,” explained Al-Sorihi about the center. “I was discussing the lack of traditional medical centers and they recommended a joint venture through the Korean Economic Bureau in Sana'a.”
The medical team currently working at the center had worked in other Arab countries such as Libya and Jordan. They know sufficient Arabic to communicate with the patients and the administration. One of the male doctors is based in Taiz where he provides various treatments including treatment for impotency.
“Having a female doctor is quite convenient for the conservative Yemeni culture that prefers female patients be seen by a women doctor,” explained Zakiya Ahmad Al-Haddad, receptionist and administrator at the center, who also facilitates communication between the patients and the doctors.
So far, the center has received over 600 cases since its establishment. Most of the patients were either referred by a doctor after being treated for heart or nerve diseases or by former patients whose health improved because of the treatment they received at the Center.
According to the center's records, most of the patients are females and the majority of the patients suffer from back and joints disorders, or are recovering from an accident or a stroke. Many patients usually come to the center to obtain Korean physiotherapy to help them recover some functionality in their bodies. Some patients come from other governorates such as Aden, Amran and Dhamar after they have given up on conventional medicine.
A diagnosis check up costs 1000 Yemeni Riyals (five US dollars) and the cost of a single medical session ranges from 3500 to 5000 Yemeni Riyals (USD 17.5 – 25) and lasts for at least one hour. Some treatments could take up to 30 sessions and some disorders can be cured in less than ten depending on the case.
Treatment includes needle reflexotherapy and acupuncture, therapeutic massage, therapeutic laser and exercises, electrotherapy and electro massage, functional therapy, rehabilitation or recovery therapy, kinestherapy (treatment of disease by movements or exercise), and Moxibustion.
Moxibustion is a form of fire heat treatment that stimulates specific acupuncture points of the body. The term is derived from the Japanese \”mogusa\”” meaning herb (mugwort) and the Latin \””bustion\”” meaning burning.
The American Journal of Chinese Medicine reports that Moxibustion therapy in conjunction with acupuncture can be very effective for many diseases and conditions including back pain