A British aid program to offer free check-ups and medical treatment to poor tuberculosis sufferers has benefited 44,517 people in southwest China.
The program, with financing of 91.06 million yuan (US$11.38 million), has been carried out in 87 counties and cities in Guizhou Province since 2002, said a Guizhou Provincial Health Bureau official.
"Poor rural people and the needy in the urban districts who have contracted TB, but fallen out of the cover of a healthcare system are entitled to the program," said the official.
The financing includes a loan of 36.12 million yuan from the World Bank, on which interest has been offset by financial aid provided by the Department for International Development, a UK aid agency, said the official, who failed to give an exact figure of the financial aid.
An effective TB prevention and control network, comprising administration, consulting panel and medical treatment, and a training center, has been set up in all 87 areas where the program is implemented, playing an important role in monitoring, registering TB sufferers and offering them timely treatment.
However, Guizhou, where the incidence of TB is high, still has 160,000 registered patients, of whom, one third are children.
The program will end on Dec. 31, 2008.
(Xinhua News Agency August 25, 2006)