Visit to Site of Mother and Child Healthcare Improvement Project in Yunnan, China

In July 2015, the Company commenced a project targeting six townships*1 in Guangnan County in the Yunnan Province of China with Plan International, an international NGO. Daiichi Sankyo is supporting activities in the aforementioned regions to cultivate healthcare workers capable of contributing to better healthcare for children and mothers and to provide healthcare education to local residents, with a focus on improving the health and nutrition among children under the age of five.
In December 2018, the fourth year of the project, Daiichi Sankyo representatives visited Guangnan County, Yunnan Province in order to observe the progress and follow up on the activities.

*1 In China, general administrative levels are province > county > township > village.

Community Center Visit

aiichi Sankyo representatives visited the community centers in Babao and Bamei townships. The community centers are meant to serve as a venue for mutual learning among local residents by helping share information regarding health and nutrition management, and further, as a community where preschool children can learn and play. A total of six such community centers have been established in areas targeted by this project, and these facilities are staffed by local volunteers and healthcare professionals (village doctors).

・ Healthcare Education for Parents

s part of the health education provided to residents by village doctors, lectures were held on the topic of how to treat children who have come down with a fever including nutritional support. The lectures included guidance on how to use a mercury thermometer, and local residents listened intently.

・ Interview with Village Doctor

We had a chance to speak with a village doctor, a native of the village, with over 30 years of experience. The doctor also volunteers at the community center.

The doctor said: "Currently, four village doctors cover nine villages. I am responsible for about 1,400 residents. In 2016, I took the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) strategy training course and also took refresher training courses later, a subsequent reeducation program. After taking these courses, I am able to give proper care according to the symptoms of children." The doctor also commented on the activities of the community center saying: "I am grateful that the activities contribute much to educating children and helping them grow up healthy."

・ Interview with Village Residents

e interviewed two residents: one with an infant 8 months old and the other with children 3 years old and 8 years old.

They each said: "I participated in the healthcare education event and feel it was very useful. I am interested in meals and nutrition for infants, and I hope the topic will be covered again."
"The symptoms most often seen in my children are fever and diarrhea. They have never been seriously ill, but what concerns me is the development of my children. I would love to participate in the next healthcare education event."

Visit to Maternity Ward of Guangnan County Hospital, and Interview with Hospital Doctors

The hospital we visited is located in Guangnan County and has about 160 beds. The hospital has had no breastfeeding rooms to date, so mothers with children who came for checkups had to breastfeed outside or in the hallway. Now the hospital is building new spaces for breastfeeding as well as a playground for small children with the investment of this project. (The construction is scheduled to be completed around February 2019.)
We also interviewed two doctors, an obstetrician and a pediatrician, both of whom participated in the observation-cum-study tour to Xian Maternal and Child Health Care Hospital. The training program aims to improve the skills of doctors and maternity nurses as part of the project.
They said: "We learned a lot in the hospital in a big city, and it was a worthwhile experience for me to observe the advanced medical treatments. We share the techniques we have learned with everyone, and we are working on improving our skills, starting from what we can do now."
"Recently, the rate of premature births is rising. If there is another opportunity to participate in the training program, I would like to learn about caring for premature babies and caesarean delivery."

Summary

Now, approximately 4 years into the project, the training for healthcare professionals in the target areas is nearly completed. The under-five mortality rate in Guangnan County, the area targeted by the project, has significantly improved since the project’s launch; we see that this project has been effective. While 2019 will be the final year of the 5-year activity period, we will steadily provide support in the target area for the remaining year so that the activities will become ingrained in the area, and continue even after the project has ended.

※This activity is adopted as "Access Accelerated" program.