Israeli medical clowns visited hospitals and orphanages in southwestern China to cheer up young patients and ease their fears.
Invited by the recently opened Consulate General of Israel in Chengdu, China, two medical clowns from Israel, Avital Dvory and Shlomi Golan, visited seven central hospitals and two orphanages in the provincial capitals of southwestern China: Chengdu (Sichuan), Chongqing, Kunming (Yunnan), and Guiyang (Guizhou).
During their week-long visit (August 2-9, 2015), Dvory and Golan provided the young patients a different kind of healing experience. Dressed in colorful clown costumes and with big red noses, the two therapists sang songs, played ukulele, performed magic tricks and blew bubbles in the wards to cheer up the patients.
The medical clowns work for an association called “Dream Doctors,” in which specially trained clowns are sent to various different hospitals to help ease patients’ fears. In May, for instance, Israel’s medical team operating in earthquake-devastated Nepal included medical clowns to help ease the trauma.
One of the parents interviewed said her child hadn’t smiled for a very long time before the clowns came.
Both Dvory and Golan are veteran clown care experts with more than 10 years of working experience. “In addition to medical knowledge such as nursing, psychology, physiotherapy and medical history, a professional clown doctor also needs to have experience in stage performance,” explained Dvory.
Initially, medical clowns were not widely welcomed and were considered a distraction by doctors, but they have since become an indispensable part of the medical field.
The Israeli Consulate in Chengdu was opened in November 2014. The fourth Israeli diplomatic mission in China, it is responsible for southwestern China – the region that today enjoys the highest rate of growth in the country.
By: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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