Poverty alleviation services tackle cervical cancer, eye health and nutrition issues

Multinationals help to enhance healthcarestandards for the poor to prevent them falling back into poverty
Edited by Hu Jun and Zhong Youyang.

China has been working over many years to improve healthcare services to the poor, considering it an important part of poverty alleviation to prevent people sinking back into poverty due to illness. 

An improved three-tier healthcare system at village, township and county levels has been established, and an over 99 percent basic medical insurance coverage of the poor has been achieved, two major achievements largely propelled by governmental forces to resolve the problem of difficult and expensive access to medical treatment for poverty-stricken residents. 

Also, foreign-invested companies in China have adopted their own approaches to prevent and control major diseases, something that China has always been emphasizing. 

In the following cases, we show how multinationals operating in China leverage their own resources, including long-proved professional expertise or an unrivalled extensive network of outlets, as they actively participate in the country's poverty alleviation campaign.

Poverty alleviation services tackle cervical cancer, eye health and nutrition issues
Ti Gong

An employee of Essilor Group, a world leader in ophthalmic optics, helps children get free vision screening. 

Essilor: Seeing The Colorful Childhood

"Seeing the Colorful Childhood" is the youth myopia prevention and control public welfare program launched by Shanghai Essilor Vision Health Foundation to improve the eye health of Chinese children and adolescents. 

Since 2015, the program has been implemented in 27 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions across China. More than 1,500 lectures on eye protection have been held for students, parents and teachers, and nearly 2.5 million children and adolescents have been screened for vision health problems. Among them, over 200,000 poor students have received free glasses.

Yunnan Province

Since early 2015, the charity project has worked in more than 20 counties, including Shangri-La, Longling and Yingjiang counties of Baoshan City, Qiaojia County of Zhaotong City and Lufeng County of Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture. It carries out vision health programs for students at compulsory education levels in nearly 1,000 schools through training "eye care ambassadors" for schools, who will later help organize vision health lectures and preliminary vision screening. The program also sends doctors to provide professional optometry services and glasses for local children at schools, and provide comprehensive solutions for vision problems.

Qinghai Province

In 2018, the Essilor foundation turned its attention to the vision health of children and adolescents in the plateau area of Qinghai Province and launched a charity project in Sanjiangyuan region. Over the past three years, the charity project has helped more than 6,000 children and adolescents with visual screening in Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai and has supplied nearly 2,000 pairs of eyeglasses for public welfare. The visual health education activities have been presented in the Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai, imparting knowledge about eye-care to local primary and middle school students and donating 2,000 pairs of sunglasses for local children in the plateau.

Tibet Autonomous Region

In September 2020, the charity project was introduced to Xigaze, Tibet. Eye health services were carried out for 2,822 students of primary and middle schools in all 19 townships of Gyangze County, covering all students with vision problems in the 5th and 6th grades. The inspections included medical optometry, computer optometry, insertion optometry, axial measurement, intraocular pressure and fundus examinations. The Essilor foundation also donated glasses to 2,139 children who were in need of vision correction. Located in the southern Tibet Plateau, Gyangze has an average elevation of 4,300 meters and an average annual sunshine duration of up to 5,000 hours.

Poverty alleviation services tackle cervical cancer, eye health and nutrition issues
Ti Gong

Roche Diagnostics donates medical testing equipment and reagents to Tibet.

Roche Diagnostics: Caring For Women To Raise Nation's Health Levels

In response to the increasing incidence of cervical cancer among women in China, and the trend for more young women to contract the disease, Roche Diagnostics, a world leading supplier of in vitro diagnostic solutions, has actively supported the national call for "Two Cancer Screening." 

It has leveraged its own industrial and technological advantages, including breast cancer and cervical cancer checks, and also undertaken cervical cancer screening training for women in rural areas to increase the rate of early diagnosis of cervical cancer.

Under the guidance of the National Health Commission, Roche Diagnostics has also supported the China Maternal and Child Health Association to implement a national cervical cancer screening training program to further standardize the treatment of cervical lesions.

From 2015 to 2017, Roche Diagnostics provided training for about 1,000 maternal and child health doctors in six provinces including Hebei, Shaanxi, Zhejiang and Guangdong, to improve cervical cancer detection capacity in rural areas of China.

In 2015, Roche Diagnostics China donated 100,000 yuan (US$15,430) to the Shanghai Charity Foundation to help women with financial difficulties who need surgeries for cervical cancer, uterine cancer, breast cancer or ovarian cancer.

In 2017, Roche Diagnostics delivered initial cervical cancer screening as part of a citywide project offering free examinations for breast and cervical cancer in Xiangyang City of Hubei Province. The project lasted more than seven months during which more than 320,000 people received examinations. 

More than 800 women were diagnosed with precancerous cervical lesions, and nearly 100 were diagnosed with cervical cancer. 

Poverty alleviation services tackle cervical cancer, eye health and nutrition issues
Ti Gong

Children have supplement meals during class break.

Yum China: "Donate One Yuan"

Yum China, owner of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell in China, started its "Donate One Yuan" program in 2008, in collaboration with the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation. The aim was to improve the nutrition levels of children in poverty-stricken areas. The company made best use of its catering network across China and called on its employees and customers to donate 1 yuan to provide children in need with more nutritional food, such as a cup of milk and an egg per child each day. The company also provided modern canteen equipment for schools.

Due to its affordability, convenience and transparency, the charity campaign has become one of the largest in the country in terms of number of participants.

By the end of May 2020, the project had raised more than 210 million yuan (US$32.4 million) from nearly 130 million donors, including 49 million yuan raised by Yum China and its employees. The donations have been distributed to 39 cities and 71 counties in 13 provinces and autonomous regions including Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan and Xinjiang, providing more than 46 million supplement meals for students and donating modern canteen equipment to 1,078 schools.

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