Across China: Uygur children receive medical care for cerebral palsy in Henan

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-13 21:56:39|Editor: Li Xia
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By Xinhua writers Tian Zijun and Han Chaoyang

ZHENGZHOU, April 13 (Xinhua) -- Inside the Recovery Center of Jingeng Hospital in Ruzhou, Henan Province, a Uygur boy named Muhemmer was beaming with joy as he worked on strengthening the muscles of his back and abdomen through sit-ups, with the help of a therapist.

As a 7-year-old child with a severe case of cerebral palsy, Muhemmer has to finish more than 10 different sets of practice laid out in his personalized rehabilitation plan, closely monitored by professionals.

"It is virtually impossible for a kid of his condition to simply enjoy anything like a normal child," said Beliqiz, a Uygur woman from a remote village in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, who is now able to speak Mandarin after accompanying her son to treatment in Henan for more than a year.

"His stiff limbs were unable to unbend and he was also having trouble swallowing his food when he first got here," she said. "But the difficulties he was having have been mitigated after a period of medical treatment and therapies."

Muhemmer's weight has increased from 14 to 25 kg, according to Song Zhaopu, a practitioner of Chinese Traditional Medicine and the head of Jingeng Hospital.

In 2015, Song started to become acutely aware of the unpreparedness of the local medical services for treating the debilitating disease after he was invited to visit Hotan of Xinjiang.

"We planned to diagnose 20 children with cerebral palsy initially," Song said. "But more than 400 patients turned up and some of them had regrettably missed their best chance for effective treatment."

"Local hospitals were too ill-equipped to deal with this illness," said Song.

Despite limited benefits of certain medical care, patients who were in need of immediate specialty care were not able to get it from local hospitals.

Under joint efforts of Hotan local authorities and Jingeng Hospital, the first batch of 10 Uygur children with cerebral palsy reached Ruzhou in 2015 for medical treatment. More children arrived later on.

As one of the children who traveled 4,000 km from Hotan to Ruzhou, Muhemmer not only received free medical treatment but also had his room and board fully paid for by the hospital.

"Some kids have gone back home after they got better, but I want my kid to stay in the Ruzhou under doctor Song's care for a bit longer," Beliqiz said.

Over the past three years, Song went back to Xinjiang 12 times providing medical care to local children and training the local medical staff.

Since 2016, four hospitals specialized in treating cerebral palsy have been established in four different cities of Xinjiang and have given professional care to more than 2,800 children.

"Curing one child gives hope to the whole family," said Song, who has been busy preparing his hospital to receive another 20 Uygur children.