Rural doctor Kuwanam Imin pays home visits to villagers every day. Recently, he pays more attention to patients with underlying diseases, since China has made rural areas a focal point in its current COVID response strategy.
Rural doctors like Kuwanam Imin and grassroots medical institutions in the rural areas of the vast Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have played a vital role in providing tiered, timely, and convenient medical services for rural residents.
Kasim Sebi, 81, a resident of Shengli Village, Kuqa City of Aksu Prefecture, had fatigue two weeks ago. His family reported his health condition to rural doctors, who later visited him and conducted a COVID-19 antigen test for the senior.
Kasim Sebi was diagnosed with a mild COVID-19 infection. Kuwanam Imin was among the doctors paying home visits, providing medicine for free, and doing physical checks for Kasim Sebi the following week. Thanks to the treatment, the senior recovered in around a week.
Kuwanam Imin said that elderly villagers with underlying diseases such as hypertension have received special attention from doctors since last month. Once a family member reports the symptoms of COVID-19 infection or if the symptoms are found during home visits, doctors will provide treatment or transfer the patient to a superior medical institution in case of serious symptoms.
Less than one kilometer away from the village, a township health center that has over 100 medical staffers can also provide treatment for patients and has a sufficient medicine stockpile for treating COVID-19 infection.
"The current medicine stockpile can guarantee the dosage of 20 percent of the township population for two months. We also have equipment such as defibrillators, electrocardiographs, oxygenators and ventilators," said Turgunjan Turdi from the township health center, adding that patients in severe and critical conditions can be timeously transferred to higher-level hospitals by ambulances.
Xu Liangliang, Party chief of the health commission of Kuqa City, said that the focus of epidemic prevention and control efforts in the rural areas is to protect residents' health and prevent severe cases.
"We will continue to strengthen the health management and monitoring of key groups, enhance the capacity of medical care for COVID-19 in rural areas, and improve treatment for severe cases," Xu said.