China Daily Examines Pilot Project To Provide Antiretroviral Treatment to People in Rural Chinese Villages
The China Daily on Thursday examined a comprehensive HIV prevention and treatment pilot project launched in May in five villages of China's Yunnan province and its use of local residents to provide health care services. The project -- organized by local governments in Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture -- is working to offer public education, HIV testing and consultation, counseling for high-risk groups, treatment and social programs to residents of rural villages. As part of the program, the government is hiring local residents, often farmers, training them in basic health care skills and paying them a small salary to provide HIV treatment and education services in the villages, according to Teng Yun, director of the Dehong HIV/AIDS Control Centre. The village doctors also are trained to provide HIV/AIDS information, as well as distribute condoms and educate patients about how to take medication correctly, Mei Hongying, director of the Longchuan HIV/AIDS Control Centre, said. "The (Yunnan) project lets village doctors play a vital role in helping the villagers fight against the deadly virus," Mei said. According to Mei, village doctors in the last two months have distributed HIV tests at no cost to people ages 15 to 60 in two villages in Longchuan. The pilot project has made progress during the last six months but also has faced challenges, including a lack of money. Most village doctors each receive a salary of less than $12 monthly. In addition, many of them are under increasing demand to provide treatment to village residents, making it difficult for them to obtain advanced training, Mei said (Zhang, China Daily, 10/27).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.