Mission: China

Mission Facts

  • Location: Zhengzhou, China

  • Population: 9,568,000

  • Dates: 11/01/2017 - 11/07/2017

  • Surgeons: Dr. Philip Frykman

  • Focus: ARM

  • Complexity: High

  • Training: Very High

  • Average Mended: 10

Mission Brief

Where in the World
China is the world’s most populated country, with a population of over 1.35 billion. China houses people of 56 different ethnic groups. About 17% of the population are children under the age of 14 years.

Luoyang is located in Central China and is one of the four great ancient capitals of China. It has a population of about 6,500,000 people, most living in urban settings. The city is famous for the Longmen Grottos and its cultivation of peonies.

Zhengzhou is near the Yellow River and is the capital of the Hennan province. With 9,568,000 people, this urban area is filled with museums and ancient history.

Healthcare in China
China’s rapid economic growth has pulled hundreds of millions of people out of poverty since 1978. Currently, 10% of the population lives below the poverty line. As of 2011, 95% of China’s population has basic health insurance coverage and there have been many improvements in health. However, due to the country’s high population density, public health problems such as respiratory illnesses and serious infectious disease outbreaks are an ongoing issue.

The Children
Every year nearly 900,000 Chinese children are born with congenital anomalies and, according to the Chinese Ministry of Health, birth defect rates have increased across China by 70% from 1996 to 2010. The increase in children born with birth defects also increases the number of children abandoned in Chinese orphanages.

Anorectal malformations (ARMs) are one of the most common congenital anomalies seen in China, however research does not yet know why. ARMs occur when a newborn’s anus and rectum (the lower end of the digestive tract) has not developed properly or is sometimes completely absent.

A child born with an imperforated anus is considered the worst curse on a family in Chinese culture, one that carries on for generations. The children born with this malformation are far less likely to be adopted by Chinese families than other orphans.

The Mission
The Mending Kids mission to China is all about hope, love, and mending children’s lives under the leadership of Dr. Phil Frykman and Dr. Keith Kimble of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA. This mission exemplifies our ongoing commitment to sustainability by partnering with local surgeons Dr. Zhai Shiwei, the Assistant Professor of Surgery at The First Affiliated Hospital of Henan University of Chinese Medicine, Dr. Yan Jun, Dr. Wang Ying, and Dr. Liu Hong Bo, giving them the opportunity to participate and lead minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures to correct ARMs.

Through an exchange of knowledge and experience, Mending Kids participates in Chinese conferences during its missions, utilizing the latest telemedical and live-surgery support, broadcasting several surgeries to young and mid-career pediatric surgeons throughout the region. These conferences draw a large audience of doctor, raising awareness, continuing to build trust culminating in a new declaration by the Chief of Pediatric Surgery, Dr. Yang announcing,

"We will no longer council parents of newborns with complex ARMs to take their babies home to die, because we have nothing to offer them. We now know how to repair these conditions and can offer infants not only life-saving procedures, but a good quality of life, thanks to the training your team has provided for us."

Mending Kids ARMs patients are all orphans living in the care of Maria’s Big House of Hope (MBHOH) the flagship of Show Hope’s Care Centers located in the city of Luoyang, in the Henan province of China. These children live with colostomies, performed emergently in the first few days of life, to relieve the obstructed colon. Without the ARM corrective surgery by our Mending Kids team, these children have little to no hope of ever being adopted.

ince 2011, Mending Kids has transformed the lives of over 70 orphans in Luoyang, China whom otherwise would have remained unadoptable because of their congenital birth defects. As a result of the hard work of our surgical team, 46% of these children have now been adopted into loving families with a chance at a healthy life!

As a result of past missions, the Pena stimulator and the new, lower-cost Frykman/Kimble stimulator developed by the Global Pediatric Surgical Technology & Education Project (GP STEP) were created as a tool for muscle stimulation of the anal sphincter, necessary to find the exact point to correct an imperforated anus. This inexpensive, simple tool can be made available to local surgeons in China and aid thousands of children in giving them a chance at a healthier, more active life.

The progress of the Mending Kids China mission has steadily increased each year, from training one surgeon in a private operating room, to performing surgeries out of Luoyang First People's Hospital and Luoyang Women’s and Children’s Hospital. 2017 ushers in a new beginning as Mending Kids partners with the Henan Provincial People’s Hospital of Zhengzhou (one of the largest hospitals in the Henan Province) and the Teaching Hospital of Zhengzhou University, allowing our Mending Kids team to provide ARM training to a larger audience of pediatric surgeons and budding medical students.

Interested Volunteers
The dates for this mission have not been finalized.

Non-surgical team volunteers are limited as this is a Micro-Team Mission and there is currently a waiting list. If you are interested in volunteering, review our FAQ section (click the Get Involved tab, then Mission Volunteer button) and then contact molly@mendingkids.org. The team fee for this mission is $4000 and will require a deposit of $500 to hold your spot.

Change the world, one child at a time, by donating to our ARM mission to China as we provide surgical care to orphans.

Mission Map

From the Surgeon