Chinese medical aid programme helps #Myanmar children suffering from congenital heart diseases

| January 20, 2020

“I’m so grateful to China,” said Wutyee Tun, a 13-year-old Burmese girl who received treatment from a Chinese medical program aiming to saving Burmese children suffering from congenital heart disease, write Lin Rui and Wang Hui, People’s Daily.

The girl, who now has a chubby face and rosy cheeks, lives in a town of southern Yangon Region, capital of Myanmar. She was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF), a complicated heart disease when she was only one year old.

“I was so ill when I was little that I could hardly walk. Every time when I needed to go out my father had to carry me on his back,” said Wutyee Tun.

“Local hospitals are incapable of curing this disease, so we were confused and desperate,” U Myint Thein, the girl’s father told People’s Daily, recalling the family’s misery back then.

The medical program from which Wutyee Tun received assistance was launched by China Charity Federation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2017. By cooperating with Yankin Children Hospital in Yangon Region, Chinese doctors examined more than 170 child patients, among which 36 have received surgeries in China’s Beijing Anzhen Hospital and Fuwai Yunnan Cardiovascular Hospital in three batches so far. Wutyee Tun’s situation was the worst among the first batch of 12 Burmese child patients.

In April 2017, Wutyee Tun, accompanied by her father, arrived at Beijing Anzhen Hospital.

“The doctors made detailed treatment plan, and told us all the possible scenarios that could happen. With the efforts of the Chinese doctors, my daughter made it. Now, she is just as healthy as other children. Chinese doctors are really amazing,” said U Myint Thein.

“Now I’ve completely recovered from the disease. And my father smiled again – something that had disappeared in my family for a long time. China and the BRI are great,” said Wutyee Tun.

According to Dr. Myint Myint Khine, director of Yankin Children Hospital, there are more than 50,000 children with congenital heart diseases in Myanmar, but few of the hospitals in the country is able to treat them.

In order to cure every child patient they receive, the Chinese doctors have made painstaking endeavors and great efforts.

“We discuss treatment plans with Burmese doctors every day on WeChat,” said Duo Lin, head of the research department of chronic diseases in Fuwai Yunnan Cardiovascular Hospital.

“Some children not only suffered from congenital heart disease, but also other diseases, so we held group consultation with doctors from other departments. We share the same goal: to cure the children completely,” Duo said.

Thiri Ko is a 7-year-old Burmese girl living in a small village in suburban Yangon with her mother Daw Thandar Moe. Her father passed away years ago, and a small grocery store her mother runs is all the source of income for the family.

When she was 7-month-old, Thiri Ko was diagnosed with congenital heart disease. Daw Thandar Moe had to choose only drug therapy for her daughter as the surgery was totally unaffordable for her. Seeing her daughter getting worse day by day, Daw Thandar Moe’s became distraught.

After receiving free treatment in Fuwai Yunnan Cardiovascular Hospital in Oct. 2018, Thiri Ko fully recovered.

“After my daughter was cured, the Chinese side also offered a loan to us to support my grocery store,” Daw Thandar Moe introduced.

The loan was offered by a supporting program providing economic assistance for the child patients’ families. The program, launched at the end of 2019, was jointly operated by Kunming Yundi Behavior and Health Research Center and Myanmar Chinese Cooperation & Communication Center.

“We have customized plans for different families according to their demands. There are 11 families currently receiving our help,” said Li Bobo, executive chairman of Myanmar Chinese Cooperation & Communication Center.

“We hope to try our best to help those Burmese families overwhelmed by the diseases. This is a natural decision driven by the friendship between the people of China and Myanmar,” noted Li.

“I’m so happy to see the children recover, not to mention the economic assistance the Chinese side has offered. Such good deeds deserve our respect. The seeds of friendship have been planted in our hearts. May China-Myanmar ‘Phauphaw’ (fraternal) friendship be carried on from generation to generation,” said Dr. Myint Myint Khine.

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