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Wu Dengyun: Devoted Country Doctor

Wu Dengyun, 62, comes from Ulugqat County, located in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on the border between China, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

In this remote county, Wu has been called "Pamirs' Savior in White" among the local people, 70 percent of them Khalkhas (Kirgizs).

After graduating from Yangzhou Medical School in East China's Jiangsu Province, he left his hometown of Yangzhou and traveled more than 5,000 kilometers to the Pamirs Mountains, where Ulugqat County is located.

Few doctors wanted to work in such a remote and desolate place at that time, but the young and vigorous Wu decided to stay and devote himself to improve local medical care.

As the director of the County People's Hospital, he spends three months each year making trips on horseback to the tents of the families of herdspeople scattered in the mountains. In this way, he has been able to provide medical care to those people who cannot go to the hospital easily owing to a lack of transportation.

Wu has also donated blood more than 30 times -- altogether more than 7,000 milliliters of blood in the past years. This has helped save about 40 of his patients, even though he fainted at the operating table a few times afterwards.

He once cut off 13 pieces of skin from his legs to save a little Khalkhas boy's life, who had suffered serious burns.

The little boy, named Tuohe Taxi, is now 30 and the father of a son and a daughter.

"Doctor Wu is my savior," he said.

Local Khalkhas have composed two songs for Wu, named "Savior in White" and "Pure Springs" respectively.

Wu retired from the post of hospital director two years ago but he has not left Ulugqat.

"I will not put my mind at rest even if I leave Ulugqat, where I still have plenty work to do," said Wu in an earlier interview by CCTV.

"As a doctor and a common CPC member, I wish I can do more to make the lives better for more people," he said.

(China Daily November 7, 2002)