Associate Professor of General Education Office (GEO) Dr Nazrul Islam was invited and sponsored by the University of Zurich to attend an authors’ workshop for the ‘Routledge Handbook on Religion, Medicine and Health’ in Levin, Switzerland from 24-27 January. Dr Islam is a guest author of a chapter on ‘Medical Pluralism in Policy and Practice: The Case of Malaysia’ for this handbook, which will be published by world-renowned publisher Routledge-Tylor and Francis Group.

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Dr Islam with the other participants of the author's workshops at Lavin, Switzerland

This is a part of Dr Islam’s UIC College Research Grant (CRG) funded project related to Chinese Medicine and cultural connectivity under China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Dr Islam is active in promoting Chinese Medicine as a tool of building cultural connectivity between China and Belt and Road countries, Southeast Asia in particular.

Although Chinese Medicine was brought into practice in Southeast Asia by the ethnic Chinese migrants over the centuries, it is still facing setbacks for various reasons including lack of recognition, social and cultural stigma, as well as religious and ethnic preference. Dr Islam’s investigation aims to find a suitable pathway for the recognition and accessibility of Chinese Medicine in Malaysia and the Philippines and bridge this region to China through the promotion of Chinese Medicine.

On his way back, Dr Islam also visited Heidelberg Institute of Global Health, University of Heidelberg in Germany wherein he is an alumnus. Dr Islam discussed with Dr Claudia Beiersmann, a scientist and Ms Anke Nitschke-Edert, Programme Manager of the German Academic Exchange Serivce (DAAD) of the Institute about the possibility of further research collaboration.

Editors: Samuel Burgess, Deen He, Marissa Furney
(from GEO)