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Chinese surgeon Peng Chunwei (Left) and other members of the Chinese medical team operating on eight-year-old South Sudanese child Gusphers Lokwete at Juba Teaching Hospital in Juba.

Successful operation by Chinese doctors offers child- life longevity

Eight-year-old Gusphers Lokwete could have passed on in the next several months from now if members of the tenth batch of the Chinese medical team had not recently met his family members in Juba.

Lokwete’s mother Rebecca Lohure, and his uncle Peter Ochan had been constantly moving between their home in Torit town of Eastern Equatoria state to Juba in search of treatment for the ailing Lokwete who had lost weight because he was not eating enough.

The condition which started in August 2022 left Lokwete unable to move for long distances, according to his uncle Ochan.

“He was not feeling pain, we took him to a hospital in Torit where they told us that the CT scan and X-ray were not functioning. We were forwarded to Juba Teaching Hospital in October,” Ochan told The Dawn in Juba on Monday.

“We met the Chinese doctors two weeks ago at Juba Teaching Hospital, they used to see us here they came to us and asked about the condition of the child, and I explained to them the condition of the child and they understood,” he added.

The Chinese doctors on hearing that the child is suffering from stomach problems conducted a CT scan on February 7th whose results confirmed Lymphangioma.

Lymphangiomas are noncancerous fluid-filled cysts that form in children, often on the head and neck. These cysts form when lymph fluid backs up and doesn’t flow normally through tissues. Most lymphangiomas don’t need treatment, but that of this child must be removed surgically.

CT-Scan results on Gusphers Lokwete.

Peng Chunwei, the general surgeon who led the surgical operation at Juba Teaching Hospital, said the child (Lokwete) had in the last six months been unable to eat enough food which could have cost his life.

“If we did not do the operation the child would have died of malnutrition in the next several months from now, he was unable to eat and had lost weight,” Peng said.

Peng said that Lymphangiomas are common among children in South Sudan and never detected early enough because the children are never taken for routine medical checkups.

“I found a big tissue in his abdomen about 16 centimeters in the middle abdomen, it has been removed,” he disclosed.

Peng expressed optimism that Lokwete will live normally from now onwards after undergoing the operation successfully.

He said this operation is the first such case among children to be handled by his team.

The Chinese doctors supported the family to undergo the operation and pathological testing for free, including preoperational tests.

The Chinese medical team also provided glucose, milk, and antibiotics to the family of the patient to help him recuperate after the operation.

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