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A country practice

By Liu Xiangrui, Wang Huazhong and Daqiong | China Daily | Updated: 2013-08-26 10:57

A country practice
Liu Gesheng at his office in Medog county town. Kuang Linhua / China Daily

Conditions are basic, medical staff lack training and equipment lies unused, but Doctor Deng Shengming says conditions in Medog have never been better. Liu Xiangrui, Wang Huazhong and Daqiong report from the Tibet autonomous region.

Editor's note: Medog county in the Tibet autonomous region is the last in China to be connected to the outside world by a paved road. Early last month, four reporters from China Daily took eight hours to drive along the 117-km Zhamog-Medog motorway, which starts high in the frigid mountains at an elevation of more than 4,300 meters. They found the road had helped reshape lives of local people, opening their minds and putting them on a fast track to development. The reporters now tell the stories of the people they interviewed during their one-week stay in the once isolated and desolate county.

When he was assigned to a clinic in rural Medog 15 years ago, Deng Shengming, freshly graduated from medical college, had no idea what the place was like.

His first impression of Medog, located in the southeast of the Tibet autonomous region, was the poor roads. In 2012, the county remained the last to be linked to China's road system.

He spent five days on tough mountain tracks before arriving in the county town. He walked another day to reach the township where he was to work.

"I thought about escaping the place when I saw the poor conditions there," says the 39-year-old from Yunnan province, adding that the idea to leave lingered for quite a while.

But he finally decided to stay. It took a lot of effort to adapt to local life, Deng recalls.

"I saw that local people needed doctors badly. As a medical worker, I didn't have the heart to leave," Deng says.


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