Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Initiative, Shenzhen, China
In June 2016, SolHEALTH began collaborating with the Shenzhen Health and Family Planning Commission to develop and implement a series of recommendations designed to benefit the entire municipal population (approx. 18 million) by promoting health and preventing disease. The goal was to develop and implement effective, population-based strategies that could address the critical health needs of the relatively young population of Shenzhen, reduce the demand for healthcare services as the population ages and be replicable throughout Guangdong Province and perhaps all of China.
The project focused on maximizing immunization rates; reducing tobacco use and second hand smoke exposure; preventing and controlling overweight and obesity; preventing excessive alcohol consumption; preventing HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections; preventing and controlling cardiovascular disease; increasing physical activity; preventing motor vehicle-related injuries; improving mental health and addressing depression, and; preventing and controlling cancer.
In an initiative that was expected to take 5 years to complete, the project was successfully concluded in September 2017. This accelerated timeline was facilitated by the Shenzhen Health and Family Planning Commission's ability to enlist the support of various government-funded public health and healthcare delivery platforms in Shenzhen. One of these was the Luohu Hospital Group (a government-funded private healthcare group possessing hospitals and clinics within Shenzhen and Guangdong Province), which was able to implement and evaluate many of the SolHEALTH health promotion and disease prevention recommendations. Of the 39 recommendations developed, 33 were implemented. The initial evaluation data collected suggested the Luohu Hospital Group made remarkable strides in primary, secondary and tertiary prevention in Shenzhen. The success of the Luohu Hospital Group was so widely acknowledged that its president, Sun Xizhuo was invited to Beijing by the national government where his hospital group was lauded as a model for China’s health reform. Thus, it appears that SolHEALTH's effective health promotion and disease prevention strategies were instrumental in benefiting the people of Shenzhen, with the real potential for further spread. SolHEALTH is honored to have been able to play an influential role in Shenzhen. We are gratified by the foresight of Shenzhen's Health and Family Planning Commission and the success of the Luohu Hospital Group.
Healthcare Support and Strengthening in the Gambia, West Africa
Owing to decades of politically imposed isolation and neglect, the Gambia’s healthcare and education systems are woefully inadequate. While the Gambia is the smallest country in mainland Africa, and has recently transitioned to a more open government committed to improving the lives of its people, the work is very challenging: 48.2% of Gambian people live below the poverty line, and the Gambia’s maternal and child mortality rates are among the highest in the world.
SolHEALTH, the Gambia Red Cross Society (a highly respected and experienced non-profit organization with over 20,000 volunteers throughout the country), and the UB-ONE Foundation (a highly dedicated German non-profit organization), are collaborating on a health promotion and disease prevention project entitled Healthcare Support and Strengthening in the Gambia (HSSG). The five-year project will develop, implement and oversee primary, secondary and tertiary prevention strategies and activities designed to support and strengthen the health of the Gambian people. It aims to employ evidence-based strategies to establish a balance between health and healthcare, create a culture of health promotion, reduce healthcare related expenditures, and build sustainable, affordable and effective public health infrastructure. The HSSG Project has three areas of focus: (1) Revitalizing and improving the Gambia’s primary healthcare system, (2) Improving sanitation and personal hygiene, and (3) Improving access to safe water.
The HSSG project will support: training of new community health nurses and incentivizing existing and new ones to work in underserved locations; preventing influenza, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, maternal sepsis, post-partum hemorrhage and pre-eclampsia; screening for depression; conducting a personal hygiene campaign; improving the disposal of human excreta; conducting a clean water educational campaign, and; deploying clean water technologies in the most critical villages.
At the Minister of Health’s request, the project will begin in the most remote two regions of the country — the Upper River Region and the Central River Region — and continue over successive phases until the entire country is served. After receiving encouragement and endorsements from the Gambia’s Minister of Health, the Ministry of Finance, UNICEF, WHO and the EU, among others, SolHEALTH, UB-ONE and the Gambia Red Cross Society are raising the $7.4 million needed for the first two-year phase. Implementation of the project will begin January 2019.