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05.17.2024

Project HOPE and Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation Launch Rural Lung Cancer Care Program in Yunnan Province, China

Gejiu City, Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, (17 May 2024) – Project HOPE is pleased to announce the launch of a pioneering lung cancer program in collaboration with the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation (BMS Foundation). This program represents a significant step forward in addressing the pressing need for early detection and enhanced access to care for individuals at high risk of lung cancer in rural areas of China.

The kickoff ceremony brought together local governmental officials, leadership from the partner hospitals, including Honghe Third People’s Hospital, and the Project HOPE China team, marking the beginning of a collaborative effort to address the lung cancer epidemic in the region.

Lung cancer poses a significant health challenge in rural China, where early detection and access to quality care are severely limited. In 2022, there were 1,060,600 new lung cancer cases and 733,300 deaths from lung cancer in China, with rural areas suffering disproportionately. Under the banner of “Rural Lung Cancer Care: Bridging Health Divides in China,” the program focuses on increasing early detection rates, building the capacity of health workers, and improving access to quality care for individuals affected by lung cancer.

Through a series of comprehensive screening programs, educational initiatives, and capacity-building workshops, the program aims to make a lasting impact on the health and well-being of communities in rural areas of China. Activities will be conducted across five counties within Honghe Prefectures, Yunnan Province, as well as in the suburbs of Shanghai. This dual-site approach will allow for meaningful comparisons of program outcomes and enable targeted interventions to address specific regional health issues. The program will reach 11,000 people, including screening 3,600 adults, engaging 2,000 local residents in public awareness campaigns, training 400 nurses in-person, and training 5,000 nurses virtually. Project HOPE will ensure that any patients who need it will be connected to care after their screening.

“We are thrilled to launch the Rural Lung Cancer Care program in partnership with the BMS Foundation,” remarked Jenny Xu, China Country Director at Project HOPE. “By working together with local partners and stakeholders, we aim to create meaningful change in the lives of individuals impacted by lung cancer in rural communities. This program underscores our unwavering commitment to alleviating health disparities and improving health outcomes for all.”

“We are proud to collaborate with and support Project HOPE in their efforts to address the challenges of lung cancer care in rural China,” said Catharine Grimes, President of the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation. “By bolstering the capacity of local healthcare workers and prioritizing early detection, we continue to strive to create accessible pathways to high quality cancer care, treatment, and support for individuals and communities.”

Following the kickoff ceremony, the Project HOPE China team conducted assessments of local medical services and oncology nursing capacity to inform the program’s implementation and ensure its success.

In addition to the kickoff ceremony, the program will include a series of lung cancer screenings, with the first event scheduled to take place in Hekou Yao Autonomous County, situated in the southeast of Yunnan and close to Vietnam. The screening initiative is projected to span 10 days, with an estimated reach of 700 individuals.

About Project HOPE: Founded in 1958, Project HOPE is a leading global health and humanitarian organization operating in more than 25 countries around the world. We work side-by-side with local health systems to save lives and improve health. Our mission is at the epicenter of today’s greatest health challenges, including infectious and chronic diseases, disasters and health crises, maternal, neonatal and child health and the policies that impact how health care is delivered. For more information on Project HOPE and its work around the world, visit www.ProjectHOPE.org and follow us on Twitter @ProjectHOPEorg.

About Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation:

The Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation aims to advance health equity for underserved communities. The Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation embraces innovative approaches that have the potential to reshape the health care system, forging alliances with government, nonprofit, academic and private sectors to ignite new possibilities in achieving health equity. In its therapeutic areas of focus, and in cross-cutting disciplines like diversity in clinical trials, the BMS Foundation is challenging norms to create more equitable and sustainable systems of healthcare delivery — and ultimately, meaningful change in the communities it serves. For more information, visit Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation (bms.com).

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