On our first day in Beijing, we visited the Zhanlanlu Community Health Service Center for an early World Diabetes Day (WDD) celebration.
China has more than 92 million people with diabetes and 150 million with pre-diabetes. Project HOPE began partnering with the Ministry of Health in China and corporate partners Eli Lilly & Company, BD and Roche in 1998 to provide diabetes education for doctors and nurses. Since then, the program has been expanded, with continuing support from Lilly, to improve the accessibility and quality of diabetes care in rural and urban communities through community health centers like Zhanlanlu.
The Zhanlanlu Center was buzzing with excitement when we arrived for the early morning WDD celebration. Nearly 200 residents from the community signed up for the free diabetes testing and counseling offered at the celebration. One of these residents was Mrs. Liu. Mrs. Liu told me that she has been battling diabetes for seven years, and she is so grateful for the clinic near her home, on the outskirts of Beijing, where she can come for testing and advice on how to manage her disease. With the patient education she receives from HOPE-trained medical professionals at the Center, including advice on diet and exercise, Mrs. Liu told me she is determined to reduce blood sugar levels and live a healthier life.
In addition to patients and HOPE-trained medical professionals, the HOPE Delegation was also joined at the WDD event by Ministry of Health officials and representatives from the China Diabetes Society. We heard a recurring theme of praise from the Chinese officials as they recognized the outstanding efforts of the patients themselves, who are not only taking their education to heart and making lifestyle changes to improve their diabetes, but who are also sharing their knowledge with family, friends and colleagues.
To date, Project HOPE diabetes education programs in China have reached 223,728 patients and family members.
Be sure to check back on our website for more on the success of our diabetes programs in China on the official World Diabetes Day, Monday, November 14.
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