Sharing the loves from China to Africa

From China to Africa: A Thai lady whom the Chinese Government designates as its humanitarian pharmacist.
 
 
A few weeks ago, I toured the bookshops to update myself on the latest best-selling and most read books. Suddenly, my eyes caught on the smiling picture of Dr. Krisana Kraisintu, the Gypsy Medicine Maker, sitting on one of the bookshelves. I immediately rushed to greet her by purchasing her second pocket book and became its proud owner. I wanted to show my support for the great work that Dr. Krisana tirelessly continues to do to make a difference in people’s life. After I finished reading the book, I wrote an email to the email address that Dr. Krisana left for the readers to send her feedbacks.

Of course, I would not miss an opportunity to write to her, telling her about my opinions on her latest book and requesting a meeting with her. My goal is to hunt her signature to keep as a souvenir. If anyone does not know how to contact Dr. Krisana, let me tell you that it is best to write an email to her because she spends time traveling like a gypsy all over the African continent to teach Africans to manufacture life-saving medicines. Her lifestyle makes it a challenge for all of us to track and find her…..


I am one of her loyal fans and really look forward to meeting her. Then the day that I was waiting for the meeting came. Dr. Krisana told me to meet her in one of the up-market venues in the area of the War Monument in Central Bangkok. She implied to me in her email that she had some good news to share with me. Once I arrived at our meeting place, I was caught off guard to see the up-market place that I was anticipating. I saw our Gypsy Medicine Maker buying and paying for fresh fruits to the man who owned a mobile stall displaying a variety of peeled and ready-to-eat Thai fresh fruits. I thought to myself, how strange that a famous person like Dr. Krisana bought fruits from the streets ……not the classic behaviour of the high society people that I read in the glossy Thai magazines or in the social pages of leading Thai newspapers. Surprise…Surprise!


Kibangkok: Sawasdee Krub A-jarn (It means Hello teacher in Thai language.) How are you? I am very happy to meet you again. Are you buying fruits for someone?
 
Dr. Krisana: I like fruits so I regularly buy it from this uncle. He is very kind to me. Some evenings, I buy all the fruits that are remained on his stall so he can go home early to be with his family. He often gives me extra fruits free of charge. He probably thinks I am also an old lady and feels sympathy for me. You could say that we sort of help each other (laugh). (Our gypsy pharmacist spoke to me with smile and laughter in her voice… it is no wonder that her down-to-earth disposition, her friendship and empathy with less fortunate people put a lasting imprint on their minds and make them love her.)

Kibangkok: A-jarn krub. When you mentioned to me about good news for Africans, what do you mean?
 
Dr. Krisana: Ah…I see that I’ve intrigued you. I will explain to you. The Chinese government has recently approved a proposed project to help African countries in the pharmaceutical field. In fact, the project has already started. The Chinese government has always wanted to extend its support in this sphere but previously did not know how to initiate it. In the past, the Chinese government donated large sums of money, constructing hospitals, building health centres in many countries in Africa as well as dispatching doctors to work and train local Africans in those hospitals. It has given unconditional aid to Africa for decades. Nevertheless, it has just initiated the pharmaceutical assistance. This is a very good news for Africa and good news for Thai people too.
 
 
Kibangkok: I do not understand. How does this piece of news relate to Thai people? I must be missing something……from China to Africa…… but somehow involves Thai people?
 
Dr. Krisana: The missing puzzle is…the Chinese government has nominated and appointed one Thai pharmacist to spearhead the pharmaceutical assistance from China to Africa. The role of this person is basically the directing manager of the project in coordinating all aspects of pharmaceutical work between China and all African countries. Aren’t you pleased to know that a Thai person will bring the humanitarian assistance from powerful nation like China to the poorest continent in the world?

Kibangkok: Woww…… What an incredible honour!.. May I ask who is that Thai pharmacist?
 
Dr. Krisana: That Thai person is me. Actually, my work with the Chinese government dates back several years ago but I did not tell many people. I prefer to work on this cooperation quietly. I did not think anyone would be interested in my work. This project does not have any commercial purpose or help to make people rich. Its purpose is rather to help improve the healthcare of poor people and solve the problems of contagious diseases. I would like only to share the story with my fans and hope that they will be pleased to learn about it.

Kibangkok: I am very happy that a Thai person is promoting Thailand’s reputation the world over once again. I am very glad that foreigners will learn positive news about the achievement of a Thai national, especially a lady. It will show that women are equal to men on the world stage. What does this project entail and what role will you play in it?
 
Dr. Krisana: I proposed a project to the Chinese government and it has been approved. The first component of the project involves the construction of a blueprint pharmaceutical factory in China. The second step is to bring Africans to this factory for training in the production and quality control of medicine. I will be responsible in selecting the qualified Africans to take part in this training in China. Once they complete the training, they will be able to produce the medicines themselves. The goal is to increase capacity – building in human resources in pharmaceutical industry and self-reliance on pharmaceutical needs. This will lead to less dependence on drug imports. At this moment in time, Africa imports most of their drugs from outside the continent. Obviously, the prices of those medicines are very expensive, the poor people have no chance whatsoever to afford them. Whoever gets sick will only have to look to his/her fate.
 

Kibangkok: With regard to human resources, how will the Chinese government assist Africa? I don’t quite understand. Please kindly explain to me in details.
 
Dr. Krisana: The Chinese government designates me the authority to select the African people whom will be given scholarships by the government to study pharmaceutical industry. Earlier this year, I selected one Kenyan working in the hospital to study a Ph.D. at Harbin Institute of Technology (or HIT). I hope that once she completes her education, she will make a great contribution to assist her country in advancing its pharmaceutical industry.



 


Kibangkok: Thank you very much for sharing with me the good news for Africans and Thais. A-jarn krub, I still do not understand the role of China. How did China become involved in Africa? Why is China interested in barren land in the remote corner of the world? I’ve not heard of China’s role in Africa.
 
 
Dr. Krisana: My dear young brother. You may not know the fact that China is a big investor in the African continent, investing in 700 business enterprises in 44 countries. Beside the capital investment, China is also one of the biggest donors to Africa.

Kibangkok: I must admit that I don’t have much information as far as Africa is concerned, in particular, in light of relations between China and African countries. If you don’t mind, please enlighten me on this subject.
 
Dr. Krisana: China is a big trading partner of almost every country in Africa. China has very good friendly relations with Africa. It exports goods and commodities to Africa, gives loans with low interest and donates a lot to things to Africa. The clear example is China builds roads in Africa. Without road, African countries cannot develop infrastructure and trades. They cannot even visit each other in remote places. I’ve seen stadiums, hospitals, schools, government buildings, research institutes and bridges in Africa that were built by the Chinese.

Kibangkok: Why do you think China has better relations with Africa than the western countries?
 
Dr. Krisana: The fact is more complex than that assumption. Historically, African countries all have relations and ties with their colonial powers (i.e. British, French, German, Spanish, Portugese and Belgian). The natures of these relations vary from country to country and are rather complicated. For examples, Burundi, though, a Belgian colony, has an excellent relation with China due to its political system while Rwanda that historically was tied with France, now chooses to develop closer relations with America. Mali is also another country that is very close to China.
 

Kibangkok: It is wonderful for me to learn about these relations. Still, I wonder why Africa which is rich in natural resources, in fact richer than Thailand, has widespread and abject poverty. One could argue that they have the worst poverty in the world.
 
Dr. Krisana: It is very unfortunate for them. Their countries are incredibly rich in natural resources but they have failed political systems. There are a lot of corrupt politicians fighting among themselves to grab their country’s wealth as much as they can. Corruption is rampant. The politicians do not care about their people. The rich people are super rich while the poor has absolutely nothing. Many poor people starve to death. Children suffer from chronic malnutrition. Every day for the poor is a struggle to survive. It is very sad.

Kibangkok: Poor Africans! What a pity where their land is full of riches, the politicians destroy any hope for the future. I only wish that our country will not experience that kind of situation.
 
Dr. Krisana: I don’t think Thailand will become like some African countries. We have good and capable politicians. We also have many intelligent and successful Thai people. Even though we are a small country, we are not second to any country in the world. We can proudly stand on the world stage.

Kibangkok: What other hopes and dreams would you like to fulfill in Africa?
 
Dr. Krisana: I hope to bring humanitarian assistance to the African people. I am contemplating about bringing Thai traditional doctors to promote in Africa. Thai traditional medicine is a science that is very effective in improving people’s health. It does not cost money and can cure most symptoms and pains. I will tell you a small secret that not many Thais know about. Our ancient medicines especially the royal medicinal books have more than 200 formulas that can cure all diseases. I hope to bring the knowledge and experience of Thai traditional medicines to teach Africans.

Kibangkok: A-jarn krub, you really make my day today. I am very glad to meet you and hope to see you again in the near future.

I pay her my respect and got on the bus home with so much happiness in my heart. I am happy to get her signature on her second book that I bought and to learn wonderful deeds of a Thai lady who never gets tired or bored to make a difference. She continues to promote Thailand’s reputation aboard, in China and Africa. I am so proud to have had a chance to get acquainted with her. The Gypsy Medicine Maker. Thailand’s AIDS angel.

It is indisputable that Dr. Krisana Kraisintu devotes her life to better the lives of others.



 
This article was translated from Thai language to English language by the Dr.Krisan fan club.Cool
 
This article was published in Thai language on April 20, 2008 at http://www.oknation.net/blog/thaithai/2009/04/20/entry-2
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