Author: Yao Yan Yu

  When it comes to Chinese medicine, the image that comes to mind for the first time must be a Chinese with yellow skin and black hair. So, have you ever seen a "foreigner" doing Chinese medicine?

  Diarra is seeing a patient. Photo by Yang Yudian

  Diarra is treating patients. Photo by Yao Xinyu

  Walking into the "Famous Doctor Hall" of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital in Shuangliu District, Chengdu, Diarra, a dark-skinned African Chinese doctor, is seeing a patient. He is skilled in applying moxibustion, acupuncture, and prescriptions, and a whole set of movements are smooth and flowing. Diarra comes from a family of doctors in the Republic of Mali, Africa. He has studied Chinese medicine and practiced Chinese medicine in China for more than 30 years. He is the first foreigner to obtain a postdoctoral degree in Chinese medicine. He became a Chinese son-in-law with his wife, Yang Mei, through Chinese medicine. He also rooted in Southwest China and trained more than 3,000 village doctors for the grassroots. Since the beginning of this year, Chinese medicine has also become his powerful weapon against the new crown virus.

Become the first foreign postdoctoral fellow in Chinese medicine

  Diarra was born in a family of doctors in Mali, Africa in 1964. His grandfather was a local herbalist and his father was the director of a local hospital. In the 1960s, the Chinese medical aid team brought Chinese medicine to Diarra's hometown. "Props" such as acupuncture and cupping made young Diarra feel novel. "When I was young, it was amazing to see that a Chinese doctor could cure a disease with a silver needle," Diarra said. "Perhaps, I planted the seeds of Chinese medicine in my heart at that time."

  In 1984, Diarra graduated from the Medical College of Mali majoring in general medicine and was selected by the Malian government to further his studies in China. When he arrived in China, he first studied General Surgery at Beijing Medical University, but he was gradually attracted by the profoundness and profoundness of Chinese medicine. But in his opinion, not studying Chinese medicine in China is almost a waste of studies, so Diarra decided to abandon "West" and "Chinese."

  Diarra's school days. Photo courtesy of respondents

  Later, Diarra came to Guangzhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine to study Chinese medicine system, but he encountered a big problem. "In the first semester of the university, I only scored more than 40 points in the test of ancient medicine, which is too miserable!" Talking about the first time he tasted the taste of failing the exam, Diarra smiled bitterly and shook his head. In order to improve himself quickly, Diarra took the trouble to ask his teachers and classmates for advice. In his spare time, he watched costume dramas, listened to ancient dramas, and visited museums. When he saw the words he didn't know, he went to the Xinhua Dictionary. He also broke the ancient medical Chinese dictionary. Tattered. In order to clarify the meridians and acupoints, Diarra goes to the laboratory every day after class to practice anatomy with human specimens. In order to practice acupuncture, he always held a towel in his hand and stuck it wherever he went...In this way, Diarra finally caught up with the Chinese classmates in his class step by step.

  Diarra's school days. Photo courtesy of respondents

  Later, Diarra, who completed his undergraduate and master's degrees at Guangzhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, went to Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine to pursue a doctorate degree in acupuncture. Now, he has become the first foreigner to obtain a postdoctoral degree in Chinese medicine.

  In his first job after graduating from his Ph.D., Diarra was in a hospital in Chengdu. "No one came to see me for a doctor." He guarded the empty clinic for three days. In stark contrast to him was the long line in the next clinic. Finally, on the fourth day, a patient opened the door, screamed in panic, and ran out, "I came to see a Chinese medicine doctor, how come I am a foreigner!" The patient complained to the nurse in Sichuan dialect. Diarra chased it out, and he said, "I will give you a needle. If it doesn't work, I won't charge you a penny." In this way, he won the first patient. Diarra is meticulous and proficient in pulse, tongue, analysis, and acupuncture. Later, the patient brought him his own friends, and in word of mouth, Diarra slowly gained a foothold.

  Diarra is undergoing treatment. Photo by Yao Xinyu

Rooted in Yunnan, dedicated to training rural doctors

  After working in the hospital for a few years, in 1997, the MSF project allowed Diarra to enter remote villages in China for the first time. He found that the medical resources of the people living there were relatively poor. "Many years ago, I first heard of'Barefoot Doctor'." Diarra said. In his eyes, "This is a group of people who contributed to the development of China in the early 1950s. But with the further development of China, Western medicine and large hospitals have received more attention, and the'barefoot doctor' has faded out of people. Vision."

  Diarra is doing charity projects in rural Yunnan. Photo courtesy of respondents

  Diarra found that for people living in remote areas at that time, the resources of western medicine and large hospitals were not covered, and China’s poor areas still needed "barefoot doctors." Later, Diarra decided to devote himself to training for public welfare. He and the local government applied to let village doctors come to study for free. He covered their travel, accommodation, and food expenses. After graduation, he gave them three major items (stethoscope, blood pressure). Table, thermometer), work clothes, medicines and books. He said it was influenced by his father. "My father is a member of the International Red Cross, and he often tells me that if you know what is good and you don't do it, it is sin."

  Diarra is doing charity projects in rural Yunnan. Photo courtesy of respondents

  For more than 20 years, Diarra has frequently traveled back and forth between Kunming, Yunnan and Honghe Prefecture, and has been devoted to training rural doctors for many years. More than 3,000 village doctors have been trained so far. Now, Diarra has become a famous local "Doctor Di" and "Doctor Di".

  In addition to providing medical assistance, Diarra did everything he could to provide assistance to the villagers in the mountains. In the village, drinking water is difficult, there is no electricity, there is no road, and there is a lack of public venues... He also tried to solve these problems.

  Diarra is doing charity projects in rural Yunnan. Photo courtesy of respondents

  Now, Diarra divides his time into two halves, half of which is practicing medicine in Chengdu, and the other half insisting on doing charity projects in Yunnan. Rooted in China for more than 30 years, Diarra can not only speak standard Mandarin, but also master Cantonese and dialects of Sichuan and Yunnan. Now he, regardless of his skin color, is completely an authentic Chinese.

First-line anti-epidemic, want to promote Chinese medicine to the world

  When the COVID-19 outbreak in China just broke out this year, Diarra contacted the Malian Embassy in China, hoping that they could use Chinese medicine for prevention. “We gave 88 Malians in China, including embassy staff, Malian students, and businessmen, all use Chinese medicine for prevention.” At the same time, Diarra is concerned about his motherland, and his Chinese medicine teachers and doctors. Institutions and others donated more than 200,000 yuan of Chinese medicine and masks to Mali in three batches through the Malian Embassy in China.

  In early February, Diarra also joined the frontline anti-epidemic without hesitation. During that time, the atmosphere in the hospital was very tense. Some friends persuaded Diarra to "how well you stay at home as a foreigner", but Diarra insisted on staying on the front line, "You must believe that Chinese medicine can definitely overcome the epidemic. !"

  Diarra said that through this epidemic, many people have re-understood the role of Chinese medicine. "Before this epidemic, most people might think that Chinese medicine is useful for chronic diseases, but this epidemic tells everyone that Chinese medicine's achievements in the treatment of infectious diseases should also not be underestimated. In some emergency situations, our Chinese medicine can also be used. It plays a very good role. Look at the plague in ancient times, and the Treatise on Febrile Diseases has recorded a lot."

  Diarra participated in the "Luban Workshop" project. Photo courtesy of respondents

  Recently, Diarra participated in the "Luban Workshop" project in Mali. This is one of the important achievements of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum. It is committed to providing Malian youth with TCM vocational skills training, using TCM technology and local medical treatment to jointly serve the local people. . In a short period of time, he helped 4 Mali experts master 60 basic acupuncture points and basic knowledge of Chinese medicine.

  Diarra is treating Malian patients. Photo courtesy of respondents

  Diarra said that now he hopes to not only bring Chinese medicine to Africa, but also to the world. Diarra believes that Chinese medicine is not only useful for Chinese people, but also a rare treasure in the world. He hopes that as an ambassador for the spread of Chinese medicine to the outside world, more people in the world can learn about and use Chinese medicine.

  Diarra is undergoing treatment. Photo by Yao Xinyu

  Nowadays, there is an endless stream of patients who come to see "Dr. Di", and Diarra has always adhered to his medical practice: treat every patient with heart.