Rainbow Bridge – HOPE and Care for Children with Epilepsy Program Stage II Kicks Off

April 12, 2017
Care for children with epilepsy in China

On March 28, Project HOPE and UCB signed an agreement to extend the Rainbow Bridge – HOPE and Care for Children with Epilepsy Program (Rainbow Bridge program) for another three years. The second stage kick-off will provide upgraded integrated care to even more Chinese children living with epilepsy and their families.

The Rainbow Bridge program, initiated by Project HOPE and UCB in 2013, embraces multiple educational aspects to enhance epilepsy care for children in China. The activities cultivate hope, joy and confidence in the children and their families. They also enhance proper diagnosis, treatment and referrals among pediatricians, and strive to increase disease awareness while eliminating the stigma surrounding the disease. The initiatives are supported by the China Association Against Epilepsy (CAAE) and the Pediatric Neurology Committee of the Chinese Society of Pediatric, Chinese Medical Association.

“China has more than 9 million people with epilepsy,” says Geng Qian, senior regional director, China and Japan, for Project HOPE, when reviewing the program. “New cases are occurring at the rate of 400,000 each year, particularly among children and teenagers. About 63 percent of patients haven’t received standard treatment. In order to help children with epilepsy better control the disease and enjoy a brighter future, and support their families during the difficult time, Project HOPE collaborated with UCB, the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center and more than 10 leading hospitals in China to implement the first stage of the Rainbow Bridge program. It was well received by the target audience.”

Children in China epilepsy care program

Ms. Liu, the mother of a child with epilepsy, shared her story during the signing ceremony. “It was really hard to accept the reality when my child was diagnosed with epilepsy,” she recalls. “I still remember the first time we joined the Rainbow Weekend activities. I went in with tears but went out with a smile. Thank you very much for all you have done for us.”

Based on the experience acquired from the past four years’ execution, UCB will continue to work with Project HOPE to upgrade efforts to improve the quality of life of children with epilepsy and the ecosystem around them. This upgrade will include improving integration of the tertiary and primary healthcare systems, enhancing public awareness to reduce stigma, improving treatment compliance and home care for children with epilepsy, and ensuring access to care for children who are transitioning to adulthood.

Dr. Dirk Teuwen is the head of Corporate Societal Responsibility for UCB. “The Rainbow Bridge program is an important part of UCB’s global corporate social responsibility efforts,” says Dr. Teuwen. “We are pleased to see that the achievements over the past four years have made a real difference for children with epilepsy and their families in China. Many thanks to all the healthcare professionals and Project HOPE staff who have made great contributions to make it happen. We are proud to be partnering with you again to create more value for Chinese children with epilepsy through the second stage of this program.”

Rainbow Bridge Achievements: 

An improvement in the capability of health care professionals

An improvement in home care skills for parents

An improvement in the public awareness of epilepsy

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