Copyright 2024 - Ningbo Life / Ningbo Expat

60-year-old donates corneas

Last Friday, Ms. Gan Mingzhu, a 60-year-old, donated her corneas, which were later implanted into two patients with eye afflictions. Another dying wish she set is to be buried at sea. In a country where cornea donations and sea burials are uncommon, Gan's noble acts have moved many people.

At 3:30 p.m. on April 27th, Dr. Lu Bin in the Ningbo Eye Hospital received a phone call from Gan's husband. In grief, he told the doctor that his wife had just died of illness, and he asked doctors to help him to fulfill his wife’s last wish as a cornea donor. Dr. Lu Bin soon rushed to hospital and organized doctors to collect the corneas.

Ms. Gan Mingzhu, the cornea donor, was 60-year-old, and lived in Haishu District. In the eyes of her neighbours and friends, she always kept a low profile. However, her two dying wishes surprised them. Her family supported her decision and has completed her first wish. Now they are submitting applications for a sea burial for Ms. Gan.

Ms. Gan's first wish have benefited two patients with eye afflictions. After collecting the corneas, two experienced surgeons in Ningbo Eye Hospital performed corneal transplants for 49-year-old Mr. Li and 57-year-old Mr. Lai, helping them to restore eyesight.

Home Care Volunteer Base established in Jiangbei District

The recent reports of sudden death at home of the elderly living alone have aroused great concern among citizens. On April 6, the Home Care Volunteer Base titled "filial piety supermarket" was jointly established by Jiangbei District Youth League and District Bureau of Civil Affairs. In the meanwhile, the "filial piety" volunteer campaign, a specialized service project for the elderly living alone, was launched with the help from related colleges and universities.

The ever-increasing number of the elderly living alone has caused such problems as the shortage of beds in nursing homes and the expansion of aging group, which poses great challenges to the existing pension system and the social stability. At present, there are 45,000 senior citizens at the age of 60 or older, accounting for 18.8% of the registered citizens. The caring issue has become serious as 55% of the elderly are empty nesters. To address this issue, by the opportunity of participating in social management, Jiangbei District Youth League adopted the innovative idea of cooperation with Ningbo College of Health Sciences by recruiting college volunteers to provide services for the elderly, such as regular blood pressure and glucose surveillance, massages and healthy diet instructions.     

"We have set up eight service groups to provide door-to-door service at least once a week. Our service targets are mainly those retired elderly citizens (over 60 years old) living alone at home." said a related official from Jiangbei District Youth League. Each service group is made of eight to ten members, including three students majoring in nursing, rehabilitation and diet respectively. Each group will provide personalized services and establish health files for two to three empty nesters.

It is learned that so far eight communities in the district have been chosen as pilot areas of the service base. About 100 volunteers have entered the communities to carry out regular services for the empty nesters in those communities.

More love called for autism group

April 2 marks the fifth annual World Autism Awareness Day. A volunteer activity to publicize and call for more love and understanding for autism group was launched in Tianyi Square yesterday. The program was sponsored by Ningbo Daily, Volunteer Branch of Ningbo Charity Federation(NBCF) and a parents volunteer organization.
During the activity, more than 60 volunteers distributed brochures to the public, handed out blue ribbons which symbolize autism awareness, and collected the public signatures. Their action aims to raise public attention and help to the special group.

Autism, different from schizophrenia or depression, is generally diagnosed at around the age of 3. It is a condition which can affect language development and the ability to relate to others.

Although the cause of autism remains a mystery, it is proved to have nothing to do with the children’s raring methods. The rehabilitation of autism largely depends on early intervention, supplemented by drug therapy. At present, there are no effective drugs or treatment to autism. Early diagnosis and intervention is essential, especially to children aged 0 to 6-year-old.

Public call for organ donations

Today marks the seventh World Kidney Day, the theme of which this year is "Donate-- Kidneys for Life --Receive". Public support for organ donation is vital so that more patients with kidney failures can have the opportunity to receive kidney transplants and more lives can be saved.

According to Bao Beiyan, director of Nephrology Division in No.2 Yinzhou Hospital, chronic kidney disease is proved highly prevalent in China, with one patient out of ten people. A large number of patients with chronic kidney disease worsen into uremia. There are more than two million uremic patients in China now, and chronic kidney failure has become one of the leading causes for death. In Ningbo, the number of patients with chronic kidney disease is on the rise. Statistics show that in 2011 Nephrology division in No.2 Yinzhou Hospital accepted 21,829 outpatients, an increase of 18% over 2010.

Although hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis are able to renew the lives of patients, they suffer great pains from long-term dialysis. Usually, a patient needs to receive 4-5 hour hemodialysis two or three times a week, which is both time-consuming and costly for their families. There are still a lot of inconvenience although some patients are able to conduct self-operation at home under professional guidance.

Kidney transplant is proved the most successful one among all organ transplants. A uremic patient can be cured after transplantation and lead a normal family life again. Yao Xuping, head of No.2 Yinzhou Hospital, said kidney transplant is a relatively mature technology. They have carried out 1020 kidney operations since the first kidney transplant in 1992, the success rate being 99%.

However, due to the severe shortage of human organs in China, every year less than one percent of uremic patients are fortunate enough to receive kidney transplants. Since the implementation of the Human Organ Transplantation Regulation in 2007, organ donation becomes the only source of organ transplants in China.

In December 2011, Ningbo became the pilot city of the human organ donation. A year later, Sun Yonghai from Northeast China became the first donor by donating his liver, two kidneys, and cornea, bringing new life to five people. His noble act has inspired more citizens to join the voluntary organ donation. According to the Ningbo Red Cross, the number of organ donators has risen from 32 in December 2011 to the current 169, with three become actual organ donors. However, with hundreds of thousands of uremic patients who are waiting for kidney transplants, organ donators are still in desperate need.

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