Impoverished women in the rural areas in Xinjiang County in Yuncheng City, North China's Shanxi Province, waits for receiving the free screening of the breast and cervical cancers. [Tuchong]
Breast and cervical cancers (also called "two cancers") are two leading threats to women's health.
On July 7, 2009, the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF) and former Ministry of Health jointly launched a program of giving free screening of the "two cancers" for rural women in China, which gave free examinations for women aged 18-65. The aim of the screening is timely prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the diseases.
The program also provided 10,000 yuan (US $1,420) for each woman suffering from either of the "two cancers."
Over the past 10 years, as a public welfare activity of caring for women, the program has been spreading across the country, becoming an important part of the project of improving people's livelihood. More than 100 million cervical cancer screenings and more than 30 million breast cancer screenings have been given for free in the past 10 years and 177,000 cases of cervical cancer and precancerous lesions and 16,000 cases of breast cancer and precancerous lesions were confirmed.
The followings are part of the achievements of the program which have been made by different provinces and autonomous regions across China.
An ACWF's fund distribution activity targeting rural impoverished mothers with either of the "two cancers" was held in South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on November 22, 2019. [For Women of China]
Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region
By November 20, the "two cancers" insurance covered 1.73 million people in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, ranking third in the country, according to the statistics released at a meeting of "two cancers" insurance work in Guangxi held in Nanning, capital city of the autonomous region on November 22.
On the same day, an ACWF's fund distribution activity targeting rural impoverished mothers was held. More than 21 million yuan (US $ 2.99 million) was issued to the cities in Guangxi for giving assistance to impoverished women with "two cancers."
Liu Yongmei, President of the Women's Federation and Deputy Director of the Working Committee on Children and Women of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, pointed out that assisting impoverished and sick mothers is an important measure to construct harmonious society and is a shared social responsibility. Women's federations at all levels will continue to enhance the care for women's health and further implement the Family Happiness and Well-being Campaign, so that the achievements of reform and development will benefit more women, she noted.
Liu hoped that the working committees on women and children at all levels will further improve healthcare in poverty-stricken areas to ensure the health of women and children, and social groups will actively participate in the assistance of impoverished mothers who suffer from the "two cancers." She hoped that women who have received assistance from the Party, government and social groups will have confidence in treating the diseases and shaking off poverty.
In 2018, with the high attention and support of the Gansu Provincial Government, the "two cancers" screening for rural women was included in the people's livelihood projects.
At the end of 2018, the Women's Federation of Gansu Province applied for 19.31 million yuan (US $2.74 million) from the ACWF and 1,931 rural impoverished mothers who suffered from the "two cancers" were assisted with 10,000 yuan (US $1,420) for each. The fund covered all the women with the "two cancers" in all the poverty-stricken counties around the province.
Since 2016, the free screening of the "two cancers" has been a key livelihood project in Central China's Hunan Province, and 3.38 million people have received free screening.
The province has funded 136.3 million yuan (US $19.58 million) to more than 13,000 impoverished women who suffer from the "two cancers" with 10,000 yuan (US $1,420) to 12,000 yuan (US $1,724.09) for each.
The women's federations at all levels in the province have actively implemented the assistance policies, and pushed forward the integration of the screening project with the new rural cooperative medical system and civil medical assistance. The local women have raised the health consciousness, and they take initiative to receive the screening.
The artificial intelligence (AI) technology has been applied to the project of free screening of cervical cancer for impoverished women in Central China's Hubei Province since the end of 2017.
So far, the AI project has provided services for more than 800,000 women of the right age in the province with the assistance of 600 health centers at township and town levels in the completion of sampling, which is the largest AI cervical cancer screening program so far in the country.
In 2018, the policy of expanding the scale of the free "two cancers" screening was formally implemented in Northeast China's Liaoning Province. A total of 738,000 people, including rural women and urban impoverished women in 45 counties, cities and districts of the province have received free examinations.
In 2019, the province included the free screening project into its government work report as one of the projects of improving people's livelihood.
So far, nearly 2.96 million women in Liaoning have benefited from the project.
By the end of 2018, the free screening of cervical cancer has been provided for more than 4.9 million rural women in East China's Jiangxi Province. The free screening of breast cancer has been provided for 943,000 rural women in the province. About 23,000 impoverished women in urban areas of the province received free screening of the "two cancers."
In 2019, the province carried out some activities to raise the awareness of the "two cancers" screening. On May 13-21, lectures on the "two cancers" and caring for women's health were held in seven poverty-stricken counties of the province.
(Source: China Women's News/Translated and edited by Women of China)
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