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TCM doctor from Mali promotes health care development in rural China for 17 years

By Sun Wenyu (People's Daily Online)    09:37, December 12, 2017

A traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) doctor from Mali has been practicing medicine in rural China for 17 years, Chinese newspaper Guangzhou Daily reported. According to the newspaper, the man surnamed Diarra has trained more than 5,000 village doctors in southwest China.

“To save people is the responsibility of every doctor, and it has nothing to do with nationality, ethnicity, or status,” Diarra said, adding that doctors should go to the places where people need them.

The 53-year-old doctor works as a TCM specialist at a hospital in Chengdu, Sichuan province, and he also uses half of his time doing public service in Yunnan.

Born in a family of medicine tradition, Diarra came to China for study in 1984 after graduating from a medical college in his motherland.

Hoping to learn stuff with Chinese characteristics, Diarra chose TCM as his major, saying it is a broad and profound discipline with unique charm.

After learning Chinese in Beijing for one and a half years, Diarra entered Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine for systematic study. He spent almost all of his time on the study of Chinese culture, in a bid to have a better understanding of TCM.

Diarra became the first foreigner in China to acquire doctoral degree of TCM in 1994 and the first foreign post-doctor of TCM in 2015.

Apart from being a qualified student, Diarra has made his own contribution to the promotion of rural medical services.

In 2001, he visited Yunnan’s Honghe prefecture as a volunteer, a place in extreme lack of medical resources. It was this experience that inspired him to push for the development of rural medical care in China.

Over the past 17 years, Diarra has visited numerous villages and trained more than 5,000 village doctors. To improve his public services, he has settled down in Yunnan. Under his effort, 90% of the six poverty-stricken counties in Honghe prefecture now have their own doctors.

According to Diarra, he will try to promote TCM in Africa. He plans to establish a comprehensive medical center that integrates research, education, and medical services, together with local TCM doctors.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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