A farmer from Mendrelgang in Tsirang, who had an itchy patch on his neck, was told it was ringworm.

Tshewang, 41, was prescribed some ointments and he has been applying it for the last two decades.

After the ointments did not help, he visited the traditional medicine unit opened recently in the locality and got needle therapy.

He said the first round of the therapy relieved him from the itchiness and the second round healed the patch.

“The third round is due sometime next week,” he said.

Tshewang said that it never struck to him to try traditional medicine until a unit of the traditional hospital was opened in the locality.

Although the traditional medicine unit was operational since May, it was officially opened on June 26 in Mendrelgang basic health unit.

Drungtsho Phuntsho said this is the first traditional medicine unit opened in a gewog in Tsirang.  “So far at least 82 people have visited with various health issues.”

He said that among the visitors, 29 were treated with the needle therapy. Most of these people suffered from ringworm and gout.

The centre provides at least four services today including needle therapy, steam therapy or localised steam, blood letting and oil heating (moxibustion).

There is also a proposal to provide steam bath services in the 12th Plan.

Today, the traditional medicine centre in Damphu sees at least 300 patients a month.

Most of the visitors, health officials said, are from Mendrelgang and Doonglagang gewogs.

Nirmala Pokhrel | Tsirang