Last Reindeer Herder in China – Oroqen and Their Health Issues


The Oroqens, with a population of 8,196, mainly live in the northeast of Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region in Oroqen Autonomous Banner, Zhalantun, Molidawa Banner and Arong Banner and in the Heilongjiang province in Tahe county, Huma county, Xunke county, Jiayin county and Heihe city. They make their homes in the Greater and Lesser Hinggan Mountains, which form the backbone of the Northeast China and the Heilongjiang River Basin.

Its name “Oroqen” is called by the nationality itself. One of my reasons that am interested in this group is because there are two meanings of its name: “the people inhabiting on mountains” and “the people employing reindeer”. I never thought about people in a ethic group can still using shotguns legally in China and become a reindeer herder.

As one of the smallest minorities in China, I haven’t have a lot information about this group and I am very willing to share the information and translated into English because I can’t find any information about the health issues in Oroqen when I google it. I am delighted to be the first one to organize it.

Based on the information on Chinese Website, I have found major health issues that Oroqens have: Tuberculosis (TB), Keshan disease or endemic cardiomyopathy, Kaschin-Beck, Alcohol related disorders and Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD).


The followings are hyperlinks about Oroqen health issues and Medication:

Wiki Keshan disease 

Alcohol Related Disorders (Chinese)

Academic Research Projects on ALL health issues (Chinese)

History and Medication of Oroqen (Chinese)

News about disease prevention on officialT site (Chinese)

Medication (Chinese)



Google Map of Oroqen in China (Very General)

The highlight part on the northeast of China is the inhabit area for Oroqen. It’s very close to both Mongolia and Russia.

General Map of Oroqen in China or Google Map of General Oroqen in China

On this map, you can clearly see that the Oroqens live in between of Heilongjiang Province and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

Google Map of “Close up” Oroqen

Daxin’an Mountains is near by the Oroqen.

Local Map from Chinese National Geography (Chinese)

Though it’s a Chinese Map, it’s very easy to understand. As you can see, the green dots are where major inhabit regions of Oroqens and the black dots are cities near by. The orange lines are the boundaries of the provinces. The blue lines are the rivers and on the top right is the Heilong River which is the main source of water to Oroqens.


 If you want to know more about Oroqen:

Cultural China with pictures of aircrafts 

China Organization

Facts and Details (Highly Recommend)

Science Museums of China

China Culture about customs of Oroqen

China Culture about the nationality of Oroqen

Tales From China’s Forest Hunters: Oroqen Folktales (University of Pennsylvania)

Southern Mongolian Human Rights information Center

Language of Oroqen


Public Health and Cultural Survival Issues with Indigenous Resistance

Public Health

According to the Global Health Education Consortium, the basics of public health under a global development are very important. I found some surprising facts in the slide show and I want to share with you.

The impacts are also showing up with the re-emergence of TB. About 20 years ago, the world was on the verge of getting rid of TB. However, with the co-infection with HIV/AIDS, TB is making a remarkable comeback. Over 2 million die from TB every year, and 9 million new cases are seen every year (Slide 16).

In truth, I didn’t recognize Tuberculosis has come back since 2000. It’s surprised that TB has a co-infection with HIV/AIDS, which may be a message to warn us infectious disease would have change to re-emerge as others spread out. TB has appeared for a long period of time and had a decline rate of new cases from 2000. However, as data above, it comes back with 9 million new cases and 2 million death. It’s hard to believe the power of co-infection and it should be taken serious consideration of how to overcome it.

Life expectancy is around 80 in many countries around the world and climbing. Decline in global child mortality from 192 (1950s) to 79 per 1000 live births by 2004 (Slide 21). Fall in life expectancy in Russia since 1990, leading to 1.5 million premature deaths. Life expectancy in Sub-Saharan Africa is lower than 20 years ago; child mortality rates climbing in 15 countries (Slide 22).

It’s hard to imagine that the life expectancy has truly reached to 80 years old and people live much longer with appropriate medical treatment that we didn’t have before.  And children have better chance of surviving which we may have to give the credit to vaccines. In contrast, there are some specific region get a decrease in life expectancy and child mortality. Reasons may various. War, economic, political, and so forth. It’s such a shame that given so equipped and completed medical system, the death rate is increasing.

A number of things may contribute to poor health than disease and poor health care. A few of the examples include poverty, nutrition, education, water and sanitation. However, other considerations may include inequality, war, bad government, trade and globalization. A number of things may determine good or poor health and it requires significant thought to determine what to prioritize first in trying to improve the health of a population (Slide 23).

According to the report, determinants of health concludes poverty, nutrition, education, water and sanitation. What shocked me is the interrelationship between the factors. As it discussed in slides, poverty is the significant definitive factor among them and it causes the other three others to happen. I didn’t think about that they do have relationships and if we can solve the problems on the most determined one, others will become easier to deal with. It’s hard to believe that health care is not the priority to those countries and there are bad government even don’t deal with that. Inequality and bad government are in the considerations!

Health Issues


Publication Date: March 2017

This issue happens around the East African countries. There are many projects go on in to expanse of oil and gas pipelines. However, these large-scale projects draw some negative impacts on environment. Take The Lamu Port Project as a example. This intended to provide transportation of logistics and oil transport among Kenya, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. There is one crucial area called Lamu County in Kenya are home to thousands of people. They have been inhabited here for centuries but are now pushing off their homelands without any benefits. Besides, it also threats the Tana River. Another example on contamination is that there is a construction of a megadam in Laikipia along the Ewuaso Ngiro River. As the only sources of the water for this region,  it has turned into a smelly black sludge, and found that the levels of suspended Biochemical Oxygen Demand are above the National Environmental Management standards. There even are some death of several livestock in the river. People have no fresh water to drink and children has drown in industrial wastewater without protection.


Publication Date: March 20, 2016

This is a letter from the members of the Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America (SALSA) to Brazil President Dilma Rousseff in 2016. They addressed different threats to indigenous peoples in Brazil. One of them is Preventable and treatable diseases which is related to public health issues. Particularly, Xavante people suffered high infant mortality, and nearly 30% of the population suffered a diabetes epidemic. It resulted of diet transformations as well as the bad lifestyle account for environmental destruction and state policies.


Publication Date: February 11, 2005

Since lack of agricultural production,  high levels of malnutrition happened to Guarani-Kaiowá in Matto Grosso, Brazil. There were 11,000 people live on only 3.5 thousand hectares of land. Over 15 indigenous people died for malnutrition in 2004, and two children had already died in the beginning of 2005. Therefore, the Ministry of Social Development (MDS) began delivering thousands of food baskets containing milk, oil, rice, beans, sugar, and coffee to people live in Matto Grosso in next six months. And they hope to reform the land agriculture with other agencies as soon as they can.


It is a hard for me to write this blog post, but I am very delighted that I finish it. There are some challenges through the whole assignment.

  1. There are lots of unfamiliar words according to the disease lists. I have to look up every new words in dictionary to make sure I understand what kind of disease is that, what’s the way of getting the disease and how the data reflects about this disease.
  2. With large amount of information on the website, you have to have a eagle’s eye to identify the useful information and paraphrase it into your own words. Sometimes, you find a good topic that you wanted to write about, but it lacks of information that you need to complete the assignment. I think it practices the skills of filtering and addressing information.

But I appreciated my successes as well.

  1. I have experienced on learning the information from graphs on the slides. It is really helpful understanding the topics and is crucial to explain the data. I found that there are more knowledges I can gain from the graph by looking at title, color, remarks etc.
  2. It’s very useful if you can find key words to look up in the search engine. And I also use F3 on the website to search for a specific word. It did save time and located the information that I want.