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Smart phone eases treatment of ear, nose, throat disorders in South Sudan

By Denis Ejulu

Xu Qingtian, a 35 -year- old Chinese medical doctor and his three South Sudanese colleagues are relying on a smart phone connected to endoscope to detect ear, nose and throat (ENT) disorders among patients within Juba Teaching hospital.

Xu who is a member of the 9th batch of Chinese medical team is the first ENT specialist to be sent to South Sudan.

He told The Juba Echo on Thursday in Juba that together with his South Sudanese counterparts they have been able to instantly examine and detect Tonsils, Gastric reflux, Tinnitus, Tonsillitis, and Otitis Media also known as middle ear infection among patients.

“Ear disease are largely caused due to water entering into the ear causing inflammation, other diseases like Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when stomach acid frequently flows back into the tube connecting your mouth and stomach,” said Xu after examining a mother with her child.

An endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube that has a light and camera at one end that shows images of the inside body on a television screen.

“We carry out endoscopy using a smart phone to scan all parts of the body, we can use it to detect nose bleeding, itching, middle ear infections, and tonsillitis,” Xu disclosed.

He revealed that every morning at least 20 patients turn up at his office, adding that most of the children he examines suffer from middle ear infections.

Xu a graduate of Wannan medical college in Anhui province said many of his elderly patients suffer from Gastric reflux, fungal infection in the ear and nose bleeding.

“We do give the patients medicine to treat the disease, but some people with thyroid disorders who require to undergo further examination we send them to the laboratory,” he said.

Dr. Xu Qingtian (R) with Francis Sooka (L) a South Sudanese ear, nose and throat specialist on Thursday in their office at Juba Teaching Hospital

Francis Sooka, a South Sudanese ENT specialist working alongside Xu said the medical department set up last year is helping to treat several patients, adding that Xu’s modern equipment such as autoscopy have been supportive.

“We have a lot of children who turn up with foreign bodies in the ear, nose and as you know our environment is so dusty, we have a lot of allergies, sinusitis, Tonsils and cases of thyroid disorders,” said Sooka.

“He (Xu) has helped us in diagnosing patients, we have our own instruments and he also has his own instruments some of which are very modern, especially the autoscopy which has helped us to put the right diagnosis,” he added.

Sooka said that before carrying out diagnosis on any of their patients they first consult each other to come up with the final diagnosis.

The ENT department within the main referral hospital in Juba is run by four staff.

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