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Xinjiang Doctor Dedicated to Traditional Kazakh Medicine
   2015-10-01 21:52:15    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Guo Yan

Mausharip Hapa is in his study room, his house in Fuhai county, Altay district, in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on August 26, 2015. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]

Large majority of China's Kazakh ethnic minority populate the mountainous areas in north Xinjiang, where vast grasslands, primitive forests and hot springs abound.

The diverse natural conditions in the region nourish and provide a variety of resources and wildlife, like geothermal energy, herbs and animals with substantial medical value.

For thousands of years, Kazakhs and their ancestors have made use of the rich resources and developed a unique set of treatment methods.

Mausharip Hapa is a doctor who has dedicated his life to the Kazakh folk medicine.

Today our reporter Poornima tells the story of the Kazakh doctor.

 

Mausharip Hapa introduces the herbs in his storeroom.

Mausharip was born into a family of medical professionals in Fuhai County, in north Xinjiang's Altay District.

The 61-year-old's interest in traditional Kazakh medicine started from an early age.

Before going to medical school, Mausharip had already had years of practical medical experience, as he visited patients with his father, who was also a Kazakh doctor.

He explained that he picked up his medical skills on the horseback as he moved around with his nomadic family.

"I was born into a Kazakh medical family. When I was little, the conditions were very poor for me to study. I learned on the horseback. And I began visiting patients with my father."

As a teenager, Mausharip had to visit patients with his father from family to family due to the lack of advanced transportation systems and hospitals in the Gobi desert and winter pastures.

He said most of the patients at that time were herdsmen, and they moved in mountainous areas all year round.

Therefore he and his father had to visit the yurts of their patients, either on foot or on horsebacks.

He added it was quite common to take three or more hours traveling alone in desolate mountains. Many incidents happened during his visits to the patients.

Mausharip recalls a moment when he was badly hurt in a bitterly cold winter night.

"We visited patients on foot. We didn't have bicycles at that time. It was a cold winter night. I rode a horse to visit a patient. The horse suddenly ran wildly on my way back home, and I fell down from the horse and broke my legs. I suffered fractures on both of my legs. I walked three hours back home. It was really a tough time."

Mausharip said fractures are commonly seen in the region, which is largely populated by nomads.

Kazakh doctors are quite familiar with the structure of skeletons and are known for their skillful treatment methods for this kind of wounds.

Mausharip showed some of his inventions, including fixators for fractures.

He said the work is not complicated.

He remembered one day when he cured a young man who fell down from a roof top.

"A twelve-year-old boy fell down from the rooftop. He dislocated his legs and knees. I wrapped up his hurt legs with leather made of lamb skin and fixed the broken legs with these sticks. He recovered from the injury and went back to school. "

Years of practical experience and academic studies helped him become an expert at a young age.

After graduating from the Xinjiang Medical College at age 20, Mausharip went back to his hometown and became a professional doctor.

In 1992, he and his friends built a hospital from a deserted warehouse in the remote small county near Fu Hai.

He hoped to improve medical services for local residents by building hospitals.

Mausharip said he and his friends built three humble houses as consulting rooms with their bare hands.

He also won support from the local government in his efforts to improve local medical facilities.

"There was no hospital or doctor in the small county at that time. Local residents could not even seek help from doctors when they fell ill. When I came here, I worked with my fellows to build three houses with large clods on our own. The local government also spared five houses for us and helped us build a humble hospital. The hospital expanded two years later, and more patients came to us. "

Mausharip has also been dedicated to promoting the Kazakh folk medicine.

From 2011 to 2012, he went to Almaty and Istanbul to attend international traditional medicine conferences and delivered his ideas on the development of Kazakh medicine and its treatment methods.

He believes many folk treatment methods come from thousands of years of experience and are quite practical.

"This book talks about traditional Kazakh medicine. I sometimes receive patients at my home after I retired. Traditional medicine still works in modern time. Some patients travel a long distance to Xinjiang to visit me. I will receive two patients from Gansu Province, who will come just to see me."

The sixty-year-old is still dedicated to his folk medical studies after retirement.

Even now the talented doctor often volunteers at a free clinic for local residents.

For CRI, I'm Poornima.

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