Sichuan hospi­tal learns to bat­tle tape­worms

China Daily (Canada) - - HOLIDAY - By HUANG ZHILING in Chengdu huangzhiling@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Pro­fes­sor Wang Wen­tao hur­ried to the Ganzi Ti­betan Au­ton­o­mous Pre­fec­ture Hospi­tal in Sichuan prov­ince last week to be the lead­ing sur­geon op­er­at­ing on a Ti­betan teenager suf­fer­ing from a tape­worm in­fec­tion.

“The Ganzi Ti­betan Au­ton­o­mous Pre­fec­ture Hospi­tal’s di­ag­no­sis that the echinococ­co­sis had af­fected his liver, duo­de­num and pan­creas was cor­rect. It needed my help be­cause the op­er­a­tion was too com­pli­cated,” said Wang, deputy chief of the liver surgery depart­ment of the West China Hospi­tal of Sichuan Univer­sity in Chengdu, Sichuan.

If not for the com­plex­ity of the teenager’s case, he would not have hur­ried to the Ganzi hospi­tal, which is about seven hours’ car ride from Chengdu, he said.

Sur­geons in the Ganzi hospi­tal can cope with all com­mon cases of echinococ­co­sis thanks to long-term as­sis­tance from the West China Hospi­tal of Sichuan Univer­sity, ac­cord­ing to Wang, who has been hired as the lead­ing ex­pert in the pre­fec­ture’s echinococ­co­sis pre­ven­tion and treat­ment cen­ter.

Echinococ­co­sis is a po­ten­tially fa­tal par­a­sitic dis­ease that mainly af­fects peo­ple in herd­ing ar­eas in Sichuan, Qing­hai and Gansu provinces, and the Xin­jiang Uyghur, Ti­bet, Ningxia Hui and In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gions.

The seven provinces and re­gions have about 66 mil­lion peo­ple in ar­eas af­fected by the dis­ease, ac­cord­ing to a news con­fer­ence held by the Na­tional Health Com­mis­sion in Chengdu on Thurs­day.

Lo­cated at the junc­ture of Sichuan, Yun­nan and Qing­hai provinces and Ti­bet, Ganzi is one of the least de­vel­oped ar­eas in Sichuan.

Nearly two out of every 100 peo­ple there suf­fer from echinococ­co­sis. In Shiqu, a county in Ganzi, more than 12 peo­ple out of every 100 peo­ple suf­fer from the dis­ease, the high­est rate in the world.

Since 2006, the West China Hospi­tal of Sichuan Univer­sity’s telemedicine cen­ter has co­op­er­ated with its coun­ter­part in the Ganzi Ti­betan Au­ton­o­mous Pre­fec­ture Hospi­tal, with doc­tors in the for­mer di­ag­nos­ing pa­tients in the Ganzi hospi­tal 1,960 times on­line and train­ing more than 70,000 doc­tors from dif­fer­ent parts of Ganzi.

“Medics from my hospi­tal have given lec­tures and shown how to per­form op­er­a­tions on echinococ­co­sis in the Ganzi hospi­tal,” said Li Weimin, pres­i­dent of the West China Hospi­tal of Sichuan Univer­sity.

Staff mem­bers of the ul­tra­sonic depart­ment of his hospi­tal have pro­vided train­ing for all county-level hos­pi­tals in Ganzi, mak­ing it pos­si­ble for them to di­ag­nose echinococ­co­sis.

The ef­forts paid off. Echinococ­co­sis can be di­ag­nosed in the Ganzi pre­fec­ture and op­er­a­tions on it can be per­formed in the Ganzi hospi­tal, Wang said.

In 2008, the hospi­tal per­formed only 20 op­er­a­tions. Now it can per­form 500 op­er­a­tions a year, he said.

LI YIBO/ XIN­HUA

Vis­i­tors to Dam­ing Palace Na­tional Her­itage Park meet the large-scale me­chan­i­cal art in­stal­la­tion dubbed “The Spirit of Dragon and Horse” in Xi’an, cap­i­tal of Shaanxi prov­ince, on Tues­day.

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