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'Teddy Bears Clinic' takes fear out of hospitals

STORY: Location: Brussels, Belgium

Step inside the 'Teddy Bears Clinic'

where medical students are running workshops for children

to help them overcome the fear of hospital visits

(Yen-Thi Bui, Medical student)

"Let me introduce myself: my name is Yen-Thi and I'm a doctor, I'm a 'teddy-ologist', and I'm going to look after your little teddy whose name is Maffy, OK?"

Children are invited to bring their favorite toys to be examined for ailments

The toys are then sent for X-rays and onto surgical tables

where surgeons in masks conduct mocked-up procedures

(Laurine Anselmo, ‘Teddy Bears Clinic’ President)

"When children don't have any experience of something they're apprehensive, they don't cooperate with the doctors, so coming to the 'Teddy Bear Clinic' allows them to discover the world of medicine, to understand how it works, to talk to health professionals in a playful context where they're not patients but just accompanying them. And because of that, they come out having learnt something, with a better understanding of medicine and they're much more relaxed if ever they have to experience it as patients."