For six days, a group of 32 doctors from China Medical Volunteers provided nearly 3,000 patients with free medical consultations and performed 26 surgeries on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
During this treatment campaign, the doctors covered more than 1,000 km at an average altitude of more than 4,000 meters.
“It’s a totally different working environment, and proper communication with patients is of great importance, because every detail matters,” said volunteer team leader Ling Feng, who is also a chief neurosurgeon. at Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing.
Ling’s team began their medical treatment campaign in Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, northwest China’s Qinghai Province, on August 6, with the first stop being Nangqian County of Yushu.
Nyzhong, 55, from Baizha village, was the first to undergo knee replacement surgery that day. For years, Nyzhong only relied on medication and acupuncture, which didn’t help much with her pain.
After a thorough assessment and preoperative preparation, the volunteer surgeons spent two hours performing the knee surgery, relieving Nyzhong of the pain that had plagued her for more than two decades.
“Hip and knee joint problems are common among the elderly in high-altitude areas where local residents have to squat or even kneel to milk cows,” said Ma Liwu, a doctor. volunteer, who is also the chief orthopedic doctor of Xuzhou No. 1 People’s. Hospital.
During the operation, Ma asked local doctors to stand by her side and carefully explained every detail to them.
“Local patients can benefit from the surgeries, but what is more important for us is to train doctors working at the primary level,” Ma said. “It is only when local doctors master the skills that the health of local residents can be truly improved.”
Another group of volunteer doctors camped near Xiaoxiang Health Center in Nangqian County, where there is a boarding school with more than 200 students.
Due to the high altitude and hypoxia, the incidence of congenital heart disease in children is significantly higher here than in other parts of the country. The volunteer doctors decided to give free physical exams to the students.
Six cases of congenital heart disease, three cases of myocarditis and seven cases of sinus tachycardia and sinus arrhythmia were detected among the students during the health check-up camp.
During their six-day campaign, the team also set up six expert workstations for Yushu county-level volunteer doctors and donated more than 2,200 boxes of medicine.
Founded in 2017, China Medical Volunteers aims to help vulnerable patients, support the construction of medical institutions in less developed areas, and promote medical aid work in foreign countries. To date, it has 5,000 medical staff registered as volunteers.
“Health care awareness in the plateau regions still needs to be improved, especially among women and children,” said Nyima Denchou, head of Yushu Maternal and Pediatric Hospital. “The volunteer doctors helped meet the urgent needs of the Tibetan people.”