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West China

Across China: Nomadic clinic brings health to Xinjiang herdsmen

2019-08-28 09:29:51

URUMQI, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- As his sheepdog kept barking, Tielik Adil looked up and saw several white dots on a faraway hillside moving closer. He whipped the horse around and bowed to his guests in a yurt with a warm greeting.

With the help of an interpreter, the guests in white gowns laid their medical instruments down and started their work with eyesight checks and blood pressure monitoring for Adil and his family, and asked some questions.

The team of doctors travels around grasslands in Tacheng Prefecture, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and gives medical treatment to local herders. They are from China Medical University, thousands of miles away in the northeastern province of Liaoning.

Li Nuo, a team member and a gastroenterologist at the Fourth Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University in the provincial capital Shenyang, has made two visits to villages in the pastoral region during his 50 days in Xinjiang.

"If not for the grassroots trips in Xinjiang, I would never have thought of the difficulties for those herdsmen to see a doctor," Li said.

Bordering Kazakhstan, the village where Adil lives sits in Toli County at the northwest tip of China and has a population of 595 people. Every year, about two-thirds of the villagers migrate to a summer pasture in Tasti, some 60 km to the west of the county seat.

It usually takes the herders more than five hours to drive out of the mountains to the hospitals in Toli, or one to two days on horseback, even up to half a month on rainy days.

"I was thinking about getting a checkup in the county seat," said Mulsal Mazi, a 61-year-old who suffers from perennial hypertension and often experiences dizziness and headaches. "I feel lucky that they come to visit us."

Liaoning paired with the remote stock-raising village in 2017 and has provided medical aid to the latter ever since, bringing medicines and healthcare services to the herders there.

During the past two years, batches of medical teams from Liaoning have left their footprints on 207 villages in this westernmost part of the country, traveling more than 4,000 km.

The news of "the doctors' arrival" soon went round the summer pasture. Adil's fellow townsmen rushed over one after another -- some on saddle, some on motorcycles, lining up at the yurt door.

Editor:Jiang Yiwei