Zhong Nanshan: Model of doctors
Born in Guangzhou in October 1936, Zhong Nanshan is one of the greatest doctors in China, as well as an academic at the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
After graduated from Medical College in Beijing in 1960, he was appointed to the faculty upon graduation. During his teaching years, he became a member of Communist Party of China.
For years a leading Chinese specialist in respiratory diseases, Zhong was well known among his peers, but the outbreak of SARS has turned him into a household name across the country. He personifies the Party's remarkable scientific advancements during the glorious struggle against the deadly SARS epidemic in 2003.
Zhong was one of a limited number of doctors informed of the disease from the moment the first few cases were reported through the inner medical network in Guangdong. He and his colleagues had been engaged in combatting it for more than a month before he appeared at the press conference in Guangzhou. When authorities said chlamydia was found in two initial lung tissue biopsies in Guangdong, doctors suggested using antibiotics to treat similar cases.But Zhong had his own opinion. He thought chlamydia might be one cause of death, but not the only cause of SARS.
Under his guidance, an effective treatment method was discovered not long after, and Guangdong achieved the lowest mortality rate and highest recovery rate for SARS in China.
During that period, fourteen doctors and nurses at the centre have fallen to SARS infection, in spite of stringent preventive measures. "They are my colleagues and friends," said Zhong. "I feel great pain seeing them suffer. They do it knowing the great risk of being infected, but none of them has quit in the face of the threat."
Neither has Zhong, who examines every patient admitted to the centre. His medical knowledge and first hand experience makes him well aware of the danger posed by SARS. Throughout he has refused to compromise his professional integrity by concealing the facts or by making misleading remarks about the disease.
Zhong was honored as part of the "Moved China" campaign in 2003.
Fighting swine flu in 2009, Zhong Nanshan again played a major role.