The Chinese dream is the dream of the world

2017-10-21 13:12

by Xinhua writer Sudeshna Sarkar

BEIJING, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- If anyone had told Bright Eric Ohene that a major part of his work as a heart surgeon would be picking up cigarette butts in China, the Ghanaian would have thought they were joking. But in the nearly one year that he has been living in Beijing, it has become part of his routine and he no longer thinks of it as work below the dignity of a doctor with a Ph.D.

The 35-year-old quotes his mentor, renowned cardiac surgeon Dr. Zhou Yu Jie, who is also CEO of Beijing Anzhen Hospital, where Ohene is interning, to explain the change in his mindset.

"Prof. Zhou told me, (if) you want to do something big, don't go for big things ... do something small in a big way."

That started with picking up the butts people left in the hospital. "The main idea is to see the distribution (of the butts)," Ohene told Xinhua. "Some patients have this habit, they can't stop smoking. So when they come (to us) they hide their smoking. We need to find the distribution of the cigarette butts ... which days of the week it is more ... We have a tally, isolate the areas and implement intervention."

It's the hospital's Initiative Against In-Hospital Cigarette Smoking project. Since one of the risk factors leading to heart diseases is smoking, the hospital is seeking to provide not only a cure but also preventive measures. Hospital admissions and outpatient visits are also treated as an opportunity to increase visitors' awareness of the risk of heart disease if they smoke. Colorful posters tell them about the quit smoking campaign and those who volunteer to join it are directed to the free outpatient clinic run to help smokers kick the habit.

"This is a very good way," Ohene said. "We are not just telling them to stop smoking, we are helping them to gradually stop smoking ... I (feel) it is really good to take an opportunity to do something that is really simple and yet can change many people's lives."


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