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Health Education Seeks Injection

Health Minister Zhang Wenkang Tuesday reiterated his welcome and support to international health organizations to carry out health education programmes in China.

He expects that such programmes will effectively help reduce the incidence of chronic diseases by teaching residents self-care knowledge and skills.

The minister extended this invitation Tuesday at a meeting to celebrate the fourth anniversary of a National Education Programme on Diabetes Control, jointly organized by the ministry and a US-based foundation - Health Opportunity for People Everywhere (Project HOPE), a worldwide non-profit health education organization.

With an incidence of 3.6 percent, diabetes has become one of the major chronic illnesses in China, and each year costs the country at least 66 billion yuan (about US$8 billion) in treatment, according to the minister.

And experts anticipate that the incidence would have gone up to 14 percent by the year 2010 if intervention activities had not been initiated.

Launched in October 1997, the five-year health education programme has opened training classes for doctors and nurses in 332 major hospitals nationwide to teach them how to prevent and control diabetes and to take care of patients with this chronic illness. The trainees then later pass on what they have learned to medical and nursing staff in other hospitals and to patients as well.

Project HOPE arrived in China in 1983. It was the first international non-governmental health organization to work in China.

(China Daily May 8, 2002)

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