Posted By Linda Heitzman, Executive Vice President, Project HOPE on April 24, 2014

Labels: China , Global Health Expertise, Women’s and Children’s Health, Health Care Education, Health Systems Strengthening

Linda Heitzman, EVP, Visiting HOPE Programs in China

Even before I joined Project HOPE two months ago, I’d heard many stories about HOPE’s history in China.  This week, those stories came to life for me during my visit to Shanghai.  Over the past few days, I’ve had the opportunity to visit with our corporate partners, government officials and leaders of the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center and the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine.  During my tour of the SCMC, I saw evidence of the generous contributions of the corporate partners and USAID for equipment and programming. The partnership with the Medical School has measurably improved the number and quality of trained physicians.  In each encounter, I witnessed the deep impact, appreciation and respect for our 30 year public and private partnerships. 

Meeting Health Needs of Children in Rural China

I’ve also learned much about the health care challenges in China’s rapidly developing society.  The Shanghai Children’s Medical Center has been instrumental in improving the lives of children, but it cannot meet all of the health care needs of children across the vast expanse of China. And as the most populated country, it is also home to the largest number of children, many of them largely underserved . . . especially in the rural areas.

Project HOPE’s China’s team is tireless in their dedication to working with private and public partners to bring innovative solutions to address the vast unmet health care needs of children, and women.  On Tuesday, we launched a program to expand HPV education. In China, 369 new cases of cervical cancer are discovered every day. Cervical cancer screening has not been implemented as a nationwide common preventive method to fight cervical cancer and a significant number of women in the rural areas of China are not screened for cervical cancer. The goal of our new program is to help reduce the number of women who die each day from cervical cancer. 

I’m confident that, hand-in-hand with our partners, we will continue to build on our 30 year history in China and save and improve the lives of countless women and children.

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