The future of public health in China

Non-communicable diseases claim 36 million lives annually and are preventable. This week in China local and international experts in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) will convene on Thursday and Friday, May 24 and 25, in the historical city of Xi’an in Shaanxi Province, China, to discuss public health solutions and advise doctors, hospitals, and governments on strategies to prevent and control chronic disease in China.

The China International Center for Chronic Disease Prevention, The George Institute for Global Health, China, and Xi’an Jiaotong University are hosting the 4th Annual Chronic Disease Forum the Prevention and Management of Chronic Diseases and the Health Policy Roundtable sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and UnitedHealth Group.

The impact of NCDs is being increasingly recognised, stalling economic growth and burdening under resourced health systems. NCDs are responsible for 83% of all deaths in China alone and 80% of deaths in developing countries worldwide.

“The Chronic Disease Forum and the Roundtable are valuable opportunities to share experience and information with our colleagues from around the world. China is conducting leading research in chronic disease, particularly in rural areas. The George Institute is deeply committed to the landmark LifeSeeds project currently underway in Xi’an, where we are working with local doctors and community to prevent and manage these deadly conditions”, said Professor Wu Yangfeng, Executive Director of The George Institute for Global health China.

“Finding solutions for the community is a very important step in preventing and controlling non-communicable diseases, especially in a country like China where the first point of care is at the village level. By working from the ground up, we can help improve the health of the most disadvantaged who often have the largest share of the burden of disease,” he added.

The Annual Chronic Disease Forum will host experts from around the world to discuss topics around ‘New advances in improving community health through non-communicable disease prevention and control’.

The Health Policy Roundtable involves a panel of experts in NCD research and policy and members of government to present information on ‘Chronic Disease Control and Prevention in China: from Strategies to Actions’ and discuss how to develop good public health strategies to improve the lives and well being of China’s citizens. The Roundtable includes approximately 30 experts and is closed-panel.

Professor Yan Lijing, Director of the China International Center for Chronic Disease Prevention explains the purpose behind the events. “Building a strong relationship between our colleagues in China and the rest of the world is part of the foundation of enacting positive policy changes for public health in China", she said. "By speaking directly with government stakeholders, we can get the most up to date research to them and work together on designing strategies for better health and better lives in China. That is the main driving force behind these two annual events.”

In addition to the Chronic Disease Forum and Health Policy Roundtable, several research training sessions will also be held, covering such topics as process evaluation, economic evaluation and ethics.

The Chronic Disease Forum and Health Policy Roundtable are annual events organized by the China International Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and are co-hosted by Xi’an Jiaotong University this year.

The event is jointly supported by the Bureau of Disease Prevention and Control, Ministry of Health, P.R. China, Department of Maternal and Child Health Care & Community Health, China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Community Health Association of China, Shaanxi Province Department of Health, and The George Institute for Global Health China.