Across China: Int'l medical students offer volunteer services in NW China
YINCHUAN, July 20 (Xinhua) -- Keval Bala Maram has been busy the whole morning measuring blood pressure, checking the Body Mass Index (BMI) and giving medical suggestions to residents queuing for health examinations in Funing Village, northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
"I major in cardiovascular surgery, so I mainly check if villagers have hypertension or relevant symptoms, and give them some advice," said Maram, a 26-year-old Indian student at Ningxia Medical University.
Maram could not remember how many villagers he has served, but Xiao Qiaoling, one of his patients, is impressed with this foreign face.
"I was surprised when he spoke Chinese to me, asking about my age, medical history and measuring my blood pressure like Chinese doctors," said Xiao.
Besides Maram, 17 international medical students from countries including India, Pakistan and Tanzania participated in this volunteer medical service organized by the university and Yinchuan Stomatological Hospital.
"For medical students, experience is the best teacher," said Shan Bin, head of the university's school of international education, adding that such volunteer activity is held every summer and winter holiday.
According to Richard Djurist Ngenzi, Maram's classmate, apart from conducting health care services under the instructions of professionals, they also visited hospitals in villages and townships to learn about the development of primary medical and health services in China's rural areas by talking to patients.
"It is good to put what we have learned in classes into practice, and also to see what rural hospitals in China are really like," said the 29-year-old Tanzanian man.
Seventy-year-old villager Ma Cunhu lined up for acupuncture on his right foot, which has been aching for a year. Watching his TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) teacher inserting a needle into the skin, Ngenzi sees a sense of relief on Ma's face.
TCM has gained increasing popularity worldwide in recent years, attracting more international medical students, including Ngenzi, to learn acupuncture, massage and cupping, said Guo Bin, a professor with the university's TCM school.
"It's hard to learn but useful in real life. When my classmates have a backache, I always give them massages," said Ngenzi. "Western medicine also has limits and TCM serves as a good alternative."
Last year, Ngenzi joined the school association of TCM. "I want to learn more. I believe what we are doing is meaningful, and I hope there will be more such volunteer activities in the future," said Ngenzi.