Symposium on the Strategy of Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Non-infectious Diseases Held

On March, 31, the Symposium on the Strategy of Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Non-infectious Diseases was held at the Hilton Hotel. The symposium was jointly sponsored by Chinese Medical Association, the Bureau of Public Health of Shanghai Municipality, the SJTU, and the internationally-renowned journal Lancet, and organized by SJTU School of Medicine and shanghai Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Among the Chinese and foreign guests present were Wang Yu, Director of Chinese National Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Rao Keqing, Party Secretary of Chinese Medical Association, Mr. Sidney Smith, Chairman of World’s Heart Association and Professor of North Carolina University School of Medicine, Mr. William Summerskill, Managing Editor of Lancet. The President of SJTU Zhang Jie and Deputy Director Wang Panshi of the Bureau of Public Health of Shanghai Municipality delivered welcoming speeches at the opening ceremony. Chen Guoqiang, Vice President of SJTU and Director of SJTU School of Medicine presided over the opening ceremony. Chen Zhu, Chinese Minister of Public Health made the key-note speech under the title “Smoking Control in China: Small Steps in Preparation for a Big Leap,” emphasizing that, starting from the principle of ensuring people’s health, promoting smoking control and honoring relevant agreements should be regarded as one of the decisive factors for achieving health for the whole society, and the government is responsible for making the proper policies in this regard.

President Zhang Jie pointed out in his speech that Shanghai Jiaotong University, one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in China, is marching toward the goal of becoming a first-rate university in the world, and the School of Medicine, with its outstanding traditions and excellent resources, will devote itself to the development of China’s health care cause, and give ceaseless attention to the advancement in the prevention and treatment of chronic non-infectious diseases, especially in the area of transformational medicine, making worthy contributions for the country and the world. Mr. Wang Panshi, in his speech, expressed his welcome to the publishing of the special 2012 issue for China by the Lancet, the world-renowned medical journal initiated in 1823, as well as his wish that readers will find inspiration and enlightenment from the supplied information so as to work harder for the advancement of China’s healthcare cause, especially in the area of preventing and controlling chronic non-infectious diseases.

The Lancet is one of the most prestigious medical journals, having a long history and enjoying great attention from the medical professionals all over the world, and is well-known for expressing views and making comments straightforwardly. This is the third time, after the 2008 and 2010 special issues for China, that the Lancet has again focused on the development of China’s healthcare cause, laying emphasis, among other things, on the prevention and control of chronic diseases, the preliminary evaluation of China’s healthcare reform. William Summerskill disclosed that the content of the special issue will be available for free download at the Lancet web station.

Chen Zhu pointed out in his speech that three years after the initiation of a new round of medical reform, a basic medical care system covering 1.3 billion people has been established, a preliminary national basic medications system has been set up, a primary care system has been in place both in the urban and rural areas, the level of equalized public health services has been increased, and reforms in the management of public hospitals are unfolding, with fruitful results. However, all these achievements are still behind the goals formulated in the reform programs of the 12th Five-year Plan for National Development. To achieve these goals, efforts must be accelerated to improve the existing medical care system covering all people, consolidate and improve the basic medications system and the primary care system, and push forward reforms in the management of public hospitals. He stressed the need to lower the incidence of chronic diseases and their complications, so as to reduce the cost of treatment, especially for the more serious ones. The chronic non-infectious diseases refer to those diseases which are of long duration and non-infectious in nature, showing relatively few clear etiological signs, but causing persistent negative conditions which are hard to cure once they have developed, such as cancers, cardiovascular diseases and cerebral accidents, diabetes, chronic obstructive lung disease, mental illnesses. Chronic diseases are often related to smoking, alcoholism, improper diets, lack of physical activity, stress, etc. accounting for about 69% of various medical problems in China. Chen Zhu pointed out that smoking is a major hazard for chronic diseases, but a preventable one. China is the largest manufacturer and consumer of tobacco products, bearing the heaviest burden imposed by smoking. Statistics show that in addition to about 300 million smokers directly affected by smoking, 740 million non-smokers are exposed to the effect of second-hand smoking, making smoking the number one killer which threatens the health of the public and causes about 1.2 million deaths every year. He said that since 2006, the year when WHO’s Tobacco Control Framework Agreement took effect in China, China has worked actively to enact the relevant articles. The 12th Five-year Plan for National Development explicitly includes such measures as popularizing health education, promoting health action plans for all and introducing an all-round ban on smoking in public places. Therefore, the Ministry of Health will strengthen its work of smoke control in the process of deepening medical reforms. To protect people’s health, he said, it is imperative to promote smoking control and honor relevant agreements as one of the decisive factors for achieving health for the whole society, and to make proper policies in this regard. People in the healthcare service should take the lead, and form a strong force in the movement by working together with people in various departments concerned and different levels of government.

In the discussions that followed, Wang Panshi, Deputy Director of the Bureau of Public Health of Shanghai Municipality, Chairman of World’s Heart Association Mr. Sidney Smith, Shi Yingkang, Director of West China Hospital of Sichuan Province, Bao Yuqian, Professor of the Department of Endocrinology of Shanghai No.6 People’s Hospital, Professor Chen Nan, Head of the Department of Nephrology of Ruijin Hospital, and others gave their opinions over the management, prevention and control of chronic non-infectious diseases. Meng Qun, Director of Information and Statistics Center under the Ministry of Health, Professor Winnie Yip of Oxford University School of Public Health, Wang Haiyan, Director of the Institute of Nephrology of Beijing University, Liang Shong, Assistant Professor of the Department of Environmental Health of Ohio State University School of Public Health, Zhang Lulu, Director of the Institute of Military Healthcare Management of the Second Military Medical University gave talks about their articles in the special issue of the Lancet.

 
 
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