Source: Xinhua 2016-10-15
KUNMING, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- After three years of clinical practice in India, Bechu Shelley Mathew returned to his alma mater in China for his graduate studies.
A native of Thrissur in India's Kerala State, Mathew, 28, is now majoring in anesthesiology at West China Hospital of Sichuan University.
Mathew studied medicine at the same university nearly 10 years ago, attracted by its good reputation as well as the mild climate and tasty food in Sichuan Province.
"More importantly, I was interested in the differences between the Chinese and the Indians, in medicine and in culture," he said.
Mathew believes traditional Chinese medicine and ayurveda have their respective strengths. Further medical exchanges between the two countries will hopefully cure more complicated diseases and serve for the benefit of the Chinese and Indian people, he said.
"Before I came to China, I thought very few Chinese were able to speak or understand English," he said.
To his surprise, language was seldom a problem and learning Chinese was not a pressing task. "As a result, my progress in Chinese is sluggish."
Medical students from other countries are not rare at Chinese universities, as a result of intensified cooperation between China and its Asian neighbors in the medical and public health sectors in recent years.
Khin May Than's decision to study medicine in China was a coincidence.
She was attending university in Myanmar's Mandalay when she fractured her leg in 2012. "My parents sent me to a Chinese hospital for treatment, as medical conditions in Myanmar were poor."
During her treatment in China, she missed a major test. "Unwilling to revise for the same course again in the new semester, I chose to continue my studies in China," she said.
She attended a vocational school in Dehong Prefecture in southwest China's Yunnan Province, just a six-hour drive from her hometown Namkham.
This summer she completed a month-long internship at Dehong Hospital, bringing her one step closer to being qualified for clinical practice.
Dehong Hospital received nearly 6,000 in-patients from Myanmar between 2011 and 2015 and conducted more than 2,000 operations, said Shao Guorong, the hospital's Party secretary.
Last year, the hospital's out-patient department treated more than 50,000 patients from Myanmar, he said.
"Meanwhile, medical workers from Myanmar often visit the hospital for academic exchanges, clinical consultations and training," said Shao.
At a recently concluded forum on public health and disease prevention for China, Bangladesh, India and Myanmar in Dehong Prefecture, the delegates agreed these Asian neighbors should enhance cooperation in their fight against epidemics including malaria, typhoid, tuberculosis and dengue.
Following the forum, Dehong vocational school signed an MOU with Bangladesh National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine for academic exchanges and cooperation.
"The two sides will work together more closely on disease prevention and control, and will carry out personnel exchanges and joint research projects," said Sha Yuzhuang, head of the Dehong vocational school.
Medical cooperation is also going on with many other Asian neighbors including Nepal, Laos and Vietnam, hoping to build up a cross-border mechanism to safeguard public health.
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