China Daily (Beijing) (05.29.2013)
The Chinese Medical Doctor Association has initiated the Rainbow Project, a national program to train rural doctors in diagnosing and treating hepatitis B. Launched in 2010 with the support of GlaxoSmithKline China, the Rainbow Project has already trained approximately 37,000 doctors in rural hospitals from 1,168 counties in 19 provinces. The project arranges for doctors to participate in onsite, centralized, or long-distance training. A survey of doctors who completed the training indicated a “big increase” in proper use of antiviral therapy.
Approximately 20 million Chinese residents have hepatitis B. More than half (11 million) live in rural areas where doctors and patients often lack hepatitis B knowledge, according to Yang Min, secretary general of the Chinese Medical Doctor Association.
Jiao Yahui, an official with China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission, stated that wide use of immunization was controlling hepatitis B on the national level, but the highly infectious virus remained a “medical challenge.” In the future, the Rainbow Project will introduce online information exchange between rural doctors and experts in larger hospitals. Yang hoped this would engage doctors in underprivileged areas more effectively.