Dai Jingang's Ethiopian patient wanted to know why Dai was
sticking so many needles into her body. After all, the problem was
with her right ankle not her left ankle, calf, or arm.
Dai, 25, is a graduate of the Beijing University of Chinese
Medicine. He went to Nazret, Ethiopia, in August of 2005, to work
for six months as part of a group of young medical volunteers.
He soon realized, however, that he needed to give lessons on
Chinese culture along with his treatments.
Dai also had to overcome people's bias about his youthful
"When I arrived at the hospital, an old nurse who had worked
previously with a Chinese acupuncture doctor doubted me," Dai said.
"She didn't tell me, but I could feel it. However, after seeing the
positive effects, she gradually began to believe in me."
In one of the cases he dealt with, a 12-year-old girl with
facial paralysis, came to Dai after trying many other
After only a week of acupuncture, Dai said, there was an
improvement. After three more weeks her condition got even
However, Dai did more than just practise medicine in Africa. He
discovered a whole new world one that cannot be easily explained in
a 60-second news report or a Hollywood movie.
"It's true, there are many diseases and poor people, but
Ethiopia has another side," said Dai. "For one thing, it's
While living in Nazret, Dai enjoyed walking through the streets,
children running up to touch his skin and hair.
When people saw him coming, they called out "China!" or "Jackie
"They thought I was rich because I was from China, so I felt
proud of my country," said Dai. "When I came back to China, I knew
that China was indeed seen as an important nation."
Since returning to Beijing to continue his postgraduate study,
Dai has maintained his connections with Ethiopia.
Not too long ago, he helped cure the asthma of an Ethiopian
friend living in Beijing with a combination of Western and
traditional Chinese medicine.
(Xinhua News Agency November 3, 2006)