Racing against time to rescue a life

Editor:Sharon Lee
Updated:2018-02-05 11:00:39
  Liu Xianfa (center), Chinese ambassador to Kenya, visits Yue Shijian at the hospital. Provided to China Daily

  NAIROBI, Kenya ! Around 7:30 pm on Saturday, the emergency telephone of the Chinese embassy to Kenya rang, kicking off a race against time to save the life of a Chinese men who was conducting market research in Kisii, a city about 230 kilometers from Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

  The caller was Yue Liming, a Hunan native in Central China. Yue was engaged in building materials in Kenya. According to Yue, a man named Yue Shijian, 40, was in critical condition in Kisii and needed emergency help from the Chinese embassy.

  The patient started to feel uncomfortable with a low fever, similar to the symptoms of a cold, on Jan 30. But the following days saw him getting worse with fever even though he took some pills for the cold. He was sent to the local Hema Hospital and was diagnosed with malaria.

  Due to poor conditions at the hospital, the situation turned worse after two days of treatment as the patient became semiconscious and showed symptoms of liver and kidney failure by Saturday evening.

  The case was immediately reported to Liu Xianfa, Chinese ambassador to Kenya, who contacted the chief secretary of the Ministry of Health of Kenya, asking the secretary to make arrangements for emergency treatment.

  Zhong Xinxiang, chief of the Consular Section of the Chinese Embassy, informed Chen Yahui, chairman of the Hunan Chamber of Commerce in Kenya, of the situation.

  Chen immediately contacted AMREF Health Africa, a non-governmental organization headquartered in Nairobi, for air ambulance service. Chen was told that because the hospital did not have any air signals, it was impossible for a helicopter to fly in at night. AMREF gave two choices: send the patient to the nearest city of Kisumu for emergency treatment or send him directly to Nairobi, which is more than a five-hour drive.

  Chen chose the latter. The ambulance left Kisii at around 1:30 am and arrived in Nairobi at 7 am on Sunday. The patient was rushed to Nairobi Hospital, where the doctors were ready to save his life.

  The Chinese community in Kenya was soon mobilized.

  Zhou Wenjuan, a doctor of Clinical Medicine from Hunan Xiangya Medical College, who was working on a research project in Kenya, also provided assistance.

  Zhuo Wu, chairman of the Kenya Chinese Chamber of Commerce, rushed to the hospital to pay in advance for the patient early on Sunday morning. He Qinwen, deputy director of the Kenya Nairobi Chinese Assistance Center, and other heads of overseas Chinese went to the hospital to visit the patient.

  Ambassador Liu also arrived at the hospital soon afterward.

  By press time, the vital signs of the patient were stable, the malaria virus was effectively controlled, and the patient was undergoing hemodialysis.