Posted By Linda Heitzman, Executive Vice President of Project HOPE on September 2, 2015

Labels: China , Health Systems Strengthening

Linda Heitzman and the AstraZeneca team visit the Shanghai Children's Medical Center

In China, respiratory diseases affect a staggering 40 million people. Asthma and chronic pulmonary obstructive disease (COPD) are the most common respiratory diseases, and there are efforts underway to increase public awareness to reverse the growth of these medical conditions. Public health experts are especially concerned about the health of China’s children – four percent of whom suffer from asthma, the most common chronic disease among kids. 

I recently traveled to Shanghai, China to witness first-hand the progress HOPE is making to improve the quality and accessibility of asthma treatment and management, especially for children.  I was honored to join the Chief of Respiratory Medicine at the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center (SCMC) to host a group from AstraZeneca, a corporate partner sharing the same mission of improving the health of patients living with chronic diseases, particularly respiratory diseases, for a tour of the facility. 

Representatives from Project HOPE, AstraZeneca and the Shanghai Children's Medical Center

The 17-year-old Shanghai Children’s Medical Center is one of Project HOPE’s major achievements in its 33-year presence in China. Project HOPE was involved with the development of the facility from the beginning of the hospital's design in 1995. Since the hospital was successfully opened in 1998, Project HOPE and SCMC have worked together to provide excellent health care for children. 

Project HOPE staff shared highlights of the China Alliance Respiratory Disease (CARD) program and the Pediatric Asthma Community Outreach program with the AstraZeneca team. Both of the programs, funded by AstraZeneca, address gaps in respiratory disease management in China by building the capacity of health service providers at township and county hospitals and community health service centers and improving service capacity and quality of services at those facilities. So far we have made some great strides including the following:

  • Onsite training of 1,500 physicians from 10 cities in lung function testing
  • Online training of more than 10,000 health care professionals from 193 cities in lung function testing
  • Assisting with setting up respiratory disease clinics at more than 600 hospitals
  • Assisting in the establishment of nebulizer rooms at more than 1,200 hospitals

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