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Early intervention saves lives in far-flung village

Updated: 2023-01-30 (chinadaily.com.cn) Print

Early intervention and treatment have prevented all senior COVID-19 patients in a village in Inner Mongolia autonomous region from getting severe symptoms or dying from the virus, a village doctor said.

Yun Haifeng, 51, the only doctor in the village of Orgikh in Ordos' Ejin Horoo Banner, has been very busy since December when the epidemic hit the village and nearby towns. He has treated patients more than 500 times since Dec 9.

The village of 162 residents has 146 who are aged 65 or above, and almost all have been infected with COVID-19.

Apart from receiving patients at the village medical center, Yun also visits patients with underlying conditions or mobility issues.

"Village doctors are the main line of defense for villagers, and we are responsible for promoting good health habits in the village," he said. "We can help lots of people."

Yun has been a village doctor for more than 30 years and there have been no accidents or complaints during his tenure, he said. His father is also a village doctor who has practiced medicine for more than 60 years, he added.

He said he also makes good use of traditional Chinese medicine and makes sure patients receive treatment early.

Although many have preexisting conditions, none of the elderly patients he has treated have needed to be transferred to bigger hospitals, developed severe symptoms or died.

"Having a good supply of drugs, both Western medications and TCM products, is also important, so that the symptoms can be alleviated quickly," he said.

With many people returning to their hometowns for Spring Festival, it was important for elderly people with preexisting conditions to limit contact with other family members, Yun said.

They should wear masks, disinfect surfaces, wash their hands and keep rooms well ventilated.

Ejin Horoo Banner has health monitoring records for more than 24,000 elderly people aged 65 and above, almost 2,000 pregnant women and almost 13,000 children under 6, according to local authorities.

It has sent free epidemic control materials including drugs and masks to elderly people, and grassroots officials, community workers and volunteers have made home visits to seniors and those with disabilities.

Medical institutions in Ejin Horoo have provided more than 42,000 free TCM products to people with COVID-19 symptoms, and local authorities have also sent fever drugs to hospitals, which are distributed to people in need for free.