Kyrgyz children arrive in Sanya to forget deadly riot

08:18, December 01, 2010      

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Fifty children and young adults from the Kyrgyz Republic arrived in Sanya, South China's Hainan province, on Monday morning to recuperate from the riots that erupted in their city of Osh in June.

The children, aged 7 to 18, reportedly suffered mental aberrations after witnessing the June 10 ethnic riot, which claimed 261 lives and injured more than 2,000 people.

During their 15-day stay in Sanya, the children will enjoy Chinese medicinal cuisine, receive rehabilitation therapy of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), and learn kungfu.

"I am very happy to be in Sanya. I had never seen the sea before," said 10-year-old Saparbeicyzy Begimai.

Nie Jiangang, from the department of international cooperation of the Ministry of Health, said: "These youngsters are in their best age to learn social behavior. We are hoping to help them using TCM methodology and by changing their environment, they can forget the past and move on."

According to Liu Dexi, head of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital of Sanya, which is hosting the children, a number of rehabilitation therapies have been planned to help them recover from their psychological trauma.

"We have hired teachers to help them with drawing, kungfu and swimming so they can feel strong again," Liu said.

The children's visit follows a 122-million-yuan ($18.29 million) aid granted to Kyrgyzstan by the Chinese government.

China is the second country among the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to invite the riot-stricken children.

Kazakhstan received 100 Kyrgyz children earlier this year, and Tajikistan is also gearing up for their convalescence.

"This is exactly the role China should play in the SCO - we should help maintain stability in Kyrgyzstan," said Mao Wenchong, from the department of European-Central Asian affairs under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The TCM Hospital of Sanya has experience in curing post-traumatic stress disorder.

A group of Chechen militants seized a school in Beslan in Russia's North Ossetia Republic on Sept 1, 2004, killing more than 300 children and teachers.

Chinese doctors looked after 10 children who survived the attack, with massage and acupuncture sessions in the morning and painting and kungfu lessons in the evening.

"There was a child named Hfanasii who suffered from enuresis after the incident," Liu said. "In TCM theory, there was something wrong with his kidney channel."

Liu cured Hfanasii in two weeks with massages, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine.

The hospital received and cured another 10 Beslan children in 2008, while Russian hospitals treated 1,573 Chinese children from the quake-stricken areas in Wenchuan, Sichuan province, between 2008 and 2009.

Different from the treatment plan of the Beslan children, the Kyrgyz children will take part in more "rich and colorful" activities focusing on alleviating their stress, Liu said.

By Cheng Yingqi, China Daily


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