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Commission equips rural hospitals

www.ehangzhou.gov.cn| Updated: January 16, 2023 L M S

A special commission on controlling COVID-19 in rural regions is racing to equip rural hospitals with oximeters and oxygenators as part of a broader drive to intensify the supply of anti-epidemic materials in the countryside.

Every village health room will be given finger oximeters and each township hospital will receive an oxygenator, said the commission under the State Council's Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism, the country's COVID-19 control task force, on Friday.

Some 50 percent of the pledged equipment is already in place, the commission added.

Authorities involved in the campaign include the National Health Commission, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce.

Since Jan 5, the departments have worked with partners Alibaba Foundation and Youcheng Social Entrepreneur Foundation to purchase such medical devices before shipping them to rural hospitals.

The recipients include 11,532 township hospitals scattered across 832 counties that have shrugged off poverty in recent years, and some 25,000 township hospitals in wealthier regions.

In a similar campaign, the commission worked with the China Rural Magazine Press and Alibaba Group, and printed 100,000 pamphlets to hand out free to migrant workers who are heading home in rural regions for the Spring Festival this month.

The contents of such pamphlets range from techniques to prevent COVID infection, major symptoms, and a guide to recovery. They are available at major transportation hubs frequented by home-bound workers.

Youcheng Social Entrepreneur Foundation also donated 60,000 sets of digital devices offering guides to rural doctors as they diagnose surging numbers of feverish farmers.

This week, the commission issued a guideline demanding that antigen test kits or nucleic acid tests must be made readily available for feverish patients in rural regions.

Village health clinics must ensure they have at least a two-week supply of medication, to which vulnerable groups or those with financial difficulties have priority access.

Local authorities are also tasked with conducting regular inspections, delivering medication, transporting patients to bigger hospitals and raising awareness about epidemic control, it said. Efforts must also be made to guide villagers to get vaccinated, wear masks and avoid gatherings or spending time with elderly relatives with underlying illnesses.

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