Doctor travels by horse to treat Tibetan villagers for 24 years

Luobu, a 50-year-old doctor, rides on his horse heading for a sick villager's home in Nyemo county, Lhasa, capital of Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, on Dec 10. Nyemo county is located 4,000 meters above sea level. Luobu takes care of health conditions of more than 370 residents of two villages in Nyemo county, which cover an area of 4 square kilometers.

Luobu gives a physical examination of a 78-year-old woman Baimu on Dec 10. Baimu has hypertension and is unable to walk. Once she felt very unwell and gave an emergency call to Luobu at around 3 o'clock in the morning. Luobu hurried to Baimu's home overnight to treat her. "Luobu saved my life," said Baimu.

Luobu continued his journey to another patient's home after seeing Baimu on Dec 10. The mountain road is so rugged that it is not suitable for driving motorcycles or other vehicles. The only way Luobu can cover the vast area is by horse. Regardless of rainy, snowy or blizzard weather conditions, if a villager needs his help, he will hit the road.

Luobu takes a woman's blood pressure on Dec 10. Luobu said his father and mother had poor health when he was young. "It took them four hours to look for a doctor," he said. "I saw their pains but could not offer any help." He was determined to become a doctor ever since.

Luobu prepares to go to the next patient's house while villagers come out of their house to see him off, on Dec 10. Luobu has only two years of primary school education. He studied medicine at a township hospital and he learned more through various training. Villagers trust him after his 24 years of help.

Luobu vaccinates a baby, on Dec 10. It is free of charge for local villagers to see a doctor. Luobu is employed by the county's sanitary bureau, which provides medicine for patients. Luobu said he wants the government to offer more professional medical training to village doctors like him.

Gama, the eldest son of Luobu, herds sheep, on Dec 11. Sheep and yak, the main source of the family's income, is tended to by Gama. He also wants to study medicine to inherit his father's career. Luobu said he hopes his son can go to a medical college to systematically study medicine, in order to help more villagers.