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Japan's aid benefits development in Anhui
By Liu Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-03-28 06:09

HEFEI: East China's Anhui Province has benefited from official development assistance (ODA) programmes launched by the Japanese Government.

Most of the current programmes were conducted in the province's poorer areas, focusing on health care and education.

In Changfeng County in central Anhui, farmers who were infected with tuberculosis received free medicine through an ODA programme.

Many rural families find it difficult to afford medical fees for the illness, which costs around 2,000 yuan (US$240) for clinic treatment and 8,000 yuan (US$970) to be hospitalized, according to Chen Feng, director of the Changfeng County Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

The average annual per capita income in the county is only 2,500 yuan (US$300) a year, sources said.

So far, nearly 340 patients have been helped by the ODA programme with tuberculosis treatment, according to Wang Jixiang, vice-director of the Anhui Provincial Tuberculosis Prevention and Cure Office.

"I am now fully recovered after taking six batches of medicines in six months," said Du Xuewen, a local 79-year-old man.

Currently, some medical fees related to tuberculosis treatment are also paid for by the local government.

Meanwhile, another ODA programme conducted in Fengyang County has given health information to rural residents.

"Please use less salt and oil when cooking dishes. Try to keep away from cigarettes," reads a message on an apron which was given free to local farmers.

Free physical examinations were also given at the event last week.

Besides health care, education was also a major part of the ODA programmes in Anhui.

An ODA programme invested 650,000 yuan (US$78,500) in western Jinzhai County to help build a new schoolyard for Tiechong Township Middle School.

Over 80 per cent of the school buildings were in a dangerous state, sources said.

The new schoolyard, with help from the programme, has had a stadium with a 400-metre race track built.

"It is expected that our school will receive more students, even from nearby regions in Henan Province," Li Xikun, headmaster of the school, said.

(China Daily 03/28/2005 page3)

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