Li Rong, 34, an enthusiastic woman farmer in south China's Guangxi Autonomous Region, spent the whole morning Thursday organizing her fellow villagers to watch a video on SARS prevention in her yard.
Li is a member of the family planning association in Dahuanghou Village of Chengxiang town, Wuming County in Guangxi. Thursday is the activity day for China's Family Planning Association (FPA).
The association, the largest non-governmental organization in China, boasts about 83 million members over a wide area, especially in the rural areas. In Guangxi alone, the association has some 5 million members, nearly one third of the total population in the autonomous region.
When China was menaced by the epidemic severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) disease, the FPA aroused all its members to fight against the epidemic.
Dahuanghou village has more than 1,500 local residents, with 160 of them being FPA members, said Qin Guizong, director of the village's FPA. Each member is held accountable for several households. These members not only provide routine reproductive advices, but also help spread SARS information and record data on returned migrants.
The Guangxi Family Planning Association has resorted to every possible means to spread relevant knowledge on SARS prevention, including newspapers, broadcasts, and slogans.
"In my village, the broadcasts, wall newspapers and slogans about SARS have been going on for several months," said Wei Qingmei, from Xialu Village of Shuangqiao town, Wuming County.
In Jinxiu county of Guangxi, the FPA members even wrote folk songs to spread SARS prevention knowledge among its people.
With he help of family planning staff, China succeeded in making its first comprehensive survey of rural migration earlier this month, which was contributing to curb the spread of SARS from urban to rural areas.
(Xinhua News Agency May 30, 2003)