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Hydatid disease effectively contained thanks to thorough screening, free treatment in Tibet

(Xinhua)    10:52, January 02, 2021

A doctor operates on a hydatid disease patient at Lhasa People's Hospital in Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, Dec. 31, 2020. Hydatid disease, or echinococcosis, a parasitic disease caused by tapeworm, is a problem for residents of herding areas in western China. Without treatment, the death rate of the disease is as high as 94 percent. As a major pastoral area, Tibet Autonomous Region reports one of the world's highest frequencies of echinococcosis infections. The disease had been a major cause of poverty for many rural residents in Tibet. To contain transmission of the disease, around 500 medical experts from across the country have been sent to the region since 2016. Together with 3,000 medical support staff, they investigated every household in the region. Any patient diagnosed with hydatid disease now benefit from free care at designated hospitals across the region. A total of 5,057 patients have received surgery over the past four years. Thanks to thorough screening and free treatment, the disease is now effectively contained. The incidence rate of hydatid disease in Tibet has dropped from 1.66 percent in 2016 to 0.26 percent, according to the regional hydatid disease control and prevention office. (Xinhua/Zhang Rufeng)


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