Authorities Remove Statue of Uyghur Medicine ‘Pioneer’ From Xinjiang Hospital



Radio Free Asia

2020-11-30 — Authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) have removed the statue of a progenitor of Uyghur medicinal science from the site of a hospital in the capital Urumqi, as part of what observers say is an ongoing campaign to eradicate the ethnic group’s culture.

Ghazibay, who lived in present-day Hotan (in Chinese, Hetian) between 460 and 375 B.C., was the author of a famous medical treatise—the modern Uyghur-language title of which translates as “Ghazibay’s Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicines.”

A listener recently told RFA’s Uyghur Service that a statue of Ghazibay, whose work documenting medicinal herbs is believed to have drawn disciples of Plato to the Tarim Basin, was taken down from in front of the XUAR Hospital of Uyghur Medicine sometime after authorities launched a campaign of extralegal incarceration in the region in early 2017. Up to 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities are believed to have been detained in a vast network of internment camps since then.

RFA was able to determine from images taken in front of the hospital that the statue was removed sometime between Oct. 26, 2017 and March 9, 2018.

Additionally, a video produced by the hospital that began circulating on Aug. 16, 2019 shows doctors and other hospital staff participating in a flag-raising ceremony and singing “red,” or patriotic, songs in front of the main building, where the statue is nowhere to be found. Details of the hospital grounds visible in the film suggest that the site where the statue once stood now serves as a dedicated space for such forms of compulsory political education.

RFA spoke with a nurse at the XUAR Hospital of Uyghur Medicine who confirmed that the statue, which she said was erected in late 2015 or early 2016 following the multi-year construction of a new 17-story main building on the hospital grounds, had been removed from the site as part of a “standardization” process for medical centers in the capital.

“It happened at the end of [2017],” she said. “Because we’re a large hospital, they were starting to reorganize things related to Uyghur medicine and Uyghur culture at the time.”

While the nurse said she was unaware of the reason for the statue’s removal, her use of the term “reorganize” suggests that it was part of an elimination drive by authorities.

‘A pioneer in Uyghur medicine’

RFA spoke with Mutellip Elihajim, who has served as the leader of a group conducting research on Uyghur medicine since relocating to Turkey from the XUAR in 2016, about Ghazibay and his contributions to the science.

According to Elihajim, everyone in the field of Uyghur medicine knows the figure of Ghazibay because his biography is considered so essential that it is the basis of a lesson in the curricula of medical schools.

“We introduced Ghazibay [to students] as a pioneer in Uyghur medicine,” said Elihajim, who before leaving Xinjiang for Turkey had worked in the field for more than 30 years, with stints teaching at the Hotan Prefectural

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Experimental therapy could remove need for insulin

Scientists have proposed a new therapy for type 2 diabetes. If proven effective, the therapy could help some people discontinue insulin treatment.

Scientists have proposed a new therapy for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, with a proof-of-concept study showing positive initial results. If effective, the therapy may mean that some people can stop taking insulin treatment.

The authors of the research presented their findings at UEG Week Virtual 2020, a conference organized by United European Gastroenterology, a professional nonprofit organization for specialists in digestive health.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, a person may have type 2 diabetes when their blood sugar is too high.

People gain blood sugar, or blood glucose, mainly from the food they eat. Insulin helps cells access this glucose to use as energy. However, for a person with type 2 diabetes, either their body does not make enough insulin or their cells do not respond to insulin correctly.

This then means that the glucose in their blood increases, which can lead to complications of diabetes, such as heart and kidney disease, visual impairment, and loss of sensation in the limbs. The higher the blood glucose over time, the higher the risk of these complications.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 10 adults in the United States have diabetes, and 90–95% of these individuals have type 2 diabetes.

Doctors typically recommend lifestyle changes, such as being more physically active and eating a more healthful diet, to treat type 2 diabetes, as well as medications to manage a person’s blood pressure and blood glucose levels.

Insulin treatment may be necessary if a person is unable to maintain their blood sugar at normal levels. This treatment can take the form of injections, pens, pumps, or inhalers. It encourages the cells in a person’s body to absorb more blood sugar.

However, people’s perception of the side effects of insulin treatment can be quite pronounced. As a result, doctors may be less likely to prescribe insulin, and, when they do, people may not take it regularly.

Consequently, therapies that can avoid these perceived side effects may be valuable in ensuring that people keep up with their prescribed treatment and avoid risking serious health issues.

In this context, the researchers behind the present study used a novel technique that scientists first reported using in humans in 2016. Based on those preliminary results, it seemed promising.

The technique is called duodenal mucosal resurfacing (DMR). The duodenum is the first part of a person’s small intestine. DMR involves lifting the mucosal layer of the duodenal to allow the ablation of the revealed area using heated water — a process that removes the cells in the targeted area.

The researchers who developed the DMR technique were trying to replicate the positive impact that bariatric surgery (gastric bypass) has on blood sugar levels with a less invasive technique.

Studies of how bariatric surgery improves blood sugar control have concluded that there

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