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Sino-US Program to Combat Heart Disease in China

Medical researchers and practitioners in China and the United States will work together to combat heart disease in China.

The Harvard Medical School and Edwards Lifesciences, a leading US researcher and producer of medical products, launched the Edwards-Harvard Education Program on Saturday in Beijing. The program is aimed at making surgery more available to Chinese patients.

An Edwards Education Fund has been established to fund the scheme and Edwards Lifesciences has promised to donate 2.5 million yuan (US$300,000) next year.

Two affiliated hospitals under Harvard Medical School will be responsible for planning, developing and carrying out the program.

The program will bring medical teams to China to perform surgery, conduct lectures for Chinese surgeons, send promising Chinese surgeons overseas to undertake professional training and sponsor key surgeons to attend international academic conferences, said Michael A. Mussallem, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Edwards Lifesciences.

Heart and brain diseases have become a major cause of death in China, accounting for 39.6 percent of disease related deaths last year, compared with 10.1 percent in 1957.

Edwards, previously known as the Cardiovascular Business Group of Baxter Health Ltd, has sponsored medical education projects in China since 1998.

With an investment of US$1 million over the past two years, Edwards has provided equipment and facilities for infrastructure in five hospitals in China, and provided opportunities for exchanges among Chinese surgeons and foreign experts.

(China Daily 12/11/2000)

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