On June 9, two mini-buses carrying professional medical staff and fully loaded with medical equipment traveled more than 300 kilometers from Beijing to Xi’achao, a remote mountain town in Longhua County in North China’s Hebei Province.
Passengers of the vehicles were a group of 32 volunteers, including 19 doctors from three of the top-tier hospitals in China — Beijing Capital Institute of Pediatrics, Beijing Tongren Hospital, and Beijing Tiantan Hospital. They were on a mission to provide local children free access to primary health care.
The trip was the first mission of the 2018 “Children Benefit Project,” jointly organized by Aramco Asia, Ifeng News, and the China Charities Aid Foundation for Children.
Longhua is one of the most poverty stricken counties in Hebei Province. Located near the provincial border with the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, local residents are mostly Mongolian and Manchu minorities.
The two-day program attracted 227 children from Xi’achao, as well as neighboring towns and villages. Most of them were left behind by their migrant laborer parents making a living in the cities. General blood tests and body screening checks were given to each child for potential internal and surgical, ophthalmic, ear, nose and throat, and dental problems. Cardiac and abdominal ultrasound examinations were also given to selected children for further diagnosis of severe diseases.
While the children were waiting to be examined, volunteers of the program handed out free picture books that were donated from the “2018 Ifeng News Forever Happiness Charity Night” event. They offered dental care advice and distributed toothpaste to those who suffer from tooth decay. The group also established personal health care archives for each child and will provide follow-up treatment plans for those diagnosed with serious symptoms.
Beneficial charity program
The “Children Benefit Project” is designed to support living and medical conditions, care for mental health development, and provide equal education opportunities during the growth of children in impoverished regions. It strives to provide necessities for their survival, protection, and childhood development. The program also urges the whole of society to contribute and be a part of these significant endeavors.
Through the combination of a media platform and a series of field trips, the program is forged into a large-scale medical charity program with physical checks, disease prevention, and improvement for medical and hygienic service conditions for children.
The 2018 project was launched this spring in Xiamen, Fujian Province. Fahad A. Al-Othman, China country manager of Aramco Asia, attended the event and reaffirmed the company’s commitment to putting great importance on the well-being of the communities where the company operates. He conveyed the message that Aramco strives to provide access to essential health care, improve the environmental health and safety of the communities, enhance education opportunities, and promote energy sustainability through conservation and efficiency efforts.
“We truly value this initiative and hope to contribute to the efforts of closing the urban-rural medical care gap. It is a smart contribution that will bring tremendous public health and societal benefits to the community. It is a rewarding mission for all of us,” said Al-Othman.
The “Children Benefit Project” is planning to visit underdeveloped regions in the provinces of Liaoning, Yunnan, and Guangxi in the second half of 2018 as the story continues to unfold with more exciting progress to be made.
Photo caption: Children of Xi’achao wait in line to be examined by an ear, nose, and throat doctor.