Chinese obstetrician sows love in Africa

By Mi Xingang
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, November 26, 2019
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Guo Luping speaks with reporters at the Maternity and Child Care Center in Xinyu city, Jiangxi province, on Oct. 26, 2019. [Photo by Mi Xingang/]

"As a doctor, my love for my career and my care towards patients are borderless," said Guo Luping, a 43-year-old obstetrician from the Maternity and Child Care Center in Xinyu city, Jiangxi province, during an interview with on Oct. 26. Being an obstetrics and gynecology clinician for over two decades, she has performed over 7,000 surgeries and delivered over 20,000 babies.

In 2014, Guo volunteered with the Chinese medical aid team bound for Africa and worked as a doctor at the Sidibzid District Hospital in Tunisia. She started working from the first day of her arrival at the hospital, which is situated beside the Sahara Desert, taking care of the emergency treatment of maternity patients and newborn infants. Within the first 24 hours, she did an ultra-sonography check for 40 patients, conducted seven surgeries and rescued two maternity patients and their babies who were in critical condition. "I knew the task at hand would be tough and was prepared to encounter many difficulties," Guo recalled.

As the hospital was short of doctors, she usually did four or five surgeries every day, sometimes even more than a dozen. At times she had to work on the operation table for three to four days consecutively, having only bread and water. "When I became too tired to stand up, I would sit on a chair and complete the operation," Guo recalled. And even after working late into the night, she still spent time summarizing her operation experience, explored techniques which were more applicable to African women and learnt French to overcome language barriers.

Due to her professional expertise and clinical experience, Guo made several breakthroughs during her time at the hospital. On March 16, 2015, Guo treated a pregnant woman who suffered from frequent uterine contraction, which gave rise to fetal anoxia in the uterus. "Local anesthesia!" she yelled, cognizant of the urgency of the situation, and immediately took up the scalpel to start the operation after the mother was anesthetized. "When the fetus was taken out, there were only a dozen milliliters of amniotic fluid left in the womb," Guo recalled. "The baby's neck was also winded by its umbilical cord." She only took three minutes to complete the operation, which was an unprecedented miracle at the hospital.

On April 12, 2015, Guo treated a maternity patient who suffered from a prolapsed umbilical cord and the fetus was in extreme danger. However, the only operating room of the obstetrics and gynecology department had been occupied, so Guo decided to occupy a room in the surgery department instead. When discovering this, the medical superintendant rejected her proposal. "If we do not do the operation instantly, the fetus will die," she said, finally persuading the superintendant. Without any assistant, Guo conducted the operation on her own and completed it in just 20 minutes. This undoubtedly became exciting news among the medical staff at the hospital. Afterwards, Guo tried every means to set up temporary obstetrics and gynecology operating rooms at the surgery department, which solved the lack of operating tables and delayed treatment of maternity patients.

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