“China lacked medical resources in the early 1950s. There were only around twenty thousand physicians and several tens of thousands of traditional Chinese medical practitioners in the country. To fully utilize these limited resources and explore Chinese medicines, the national leadership launched programs in an effort to promote the ideas of enhancing the healthcare services through a ‘combination of Western and traditional Chinese medicines.’ Medical school graduates or young doctors were encouraged to learn traditional Chinese medicines, while experienced traditional Chinese medical practitioners were asked to enrich their knowledge by attending training courses on Western medicine. This unique combination not only proved beneficial to patients but also enabled further exploration and development of Chinese medicine and its application through modern scientific approaches.” ~ Dr. Tu Youyou
“Traditional Chinese medicine uses sweet wormwood to treat fever. In the 1970s, after studies of traditional herbal medicines, Tu Youyou managed to extract a substance, artemisinin, which inhibits the malaria parasite. Drugs based on artemisinin have led to the survival and improved health of millions of people. For her work, Tu received the 2011 Lasker Award in clinical medicine and the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly with William C. Campbell and Satoshi Ōmura. Tu is the first Chinese Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine and the first female citizen of the People’s Republic of China to receive a Nobel Prize in any category.”
More on Dr. Tu Youyou and her fascinating career in medicine here.
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