Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / China / Society

Lottery funds helping poor children with heart disease, leukemia

By Jiang Chenglong | China Daily | Updated: 2024-05-20 09:34
Share - WeChat

Over the past decade, an increasing number of impoverished children with severe illnesses have turned to public welfare funds operated by the Chinese Red Cross Foundation, with over 90,000 children with leukemia and congenital heart disease having received timely financial aid by the end of last year.

These public welfare funds include two projects — the Little Angel Fund for patients under 18 with leukemia, and the Angel Sunshine Fund for those under 14 with congenital heart disease.

In 2009 and 2011, supported by the Ministry of Finance, these funds became eligible for being topped up by the central special lottery public welfare fund, to further aid for these children.

The special lottery fund is funded by the proceeds from sales of welfare lottery and sports lottery tickets. This fund is designed to support public welfare projects and activities, contributing to various sectors such as social welfare, sports development and cultural initiatives across the country.

The special lottery fund has been a primary source of funding for these two projects, providing assistance to tens of thousands of children with serious illnesses.

By the end of last year, these two projects had cumulatively aided 67,214 children with leukemia and 25,834 children with congenital heart disease, totaling 93,048 individuals, according to data from the Chinese Red Cross Foundation.

About 2.56 billion yuan from the central special lottery fund has been used to directly assist some 89,000 children

The incidence rate of congenital heart disease in China was 0.72 percent in 2017, according to data released by the National Health Commission.

The median hospitalization cost for surgical treatment of congenital heart disease in China is approximately 64,000 yuan ($8,900), but costs for more complicated treatment can run into hundreds of thousands of yuan.

In 2018, the incidence of leukemia among children under 15 in China was approximately four to five cases per 100,000.

The special lottery fund has become a powerful supplement to China's medical security system and government medical assistance for children, saving many lives and reducing the economic burden on their families.

According to charity news outlet China Philanthropist, Yang Zhuozi, deputy director for medical assistance at the CRCF, said that leukemia treatment involves long cycles and frequent relapses, imposing a heavy economic burden on families, noting that many parents often have to give up on a second transplant due to financial concerns.

The CRCF's leukemia fund offers a one-time financial aid amount ranging from 30,000 to 50,000 yuan per child with leukemia, while that for children with congenital heart disease ranges from 5,000 to 30,000 yuan, varying according to the child's treatment needs and the family's financial situation.

Some children in need may receive assistance multiple times.

Yang said that the continuous and stable investment of the central special lottery fund over the past 14 years has ensured that these two projects targeting children with serious illnesses continue to grow.

Additionally, she said that the CRCF conducts annual screenings for children with congenital heart disease in remote and ethnic minority areas such as western China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Xizang autonomous region and Qinghai province, identifying over 1,000 children in need of surgical treatment each year.

"We bring high-quality medical care and funding information to those children in need, while also identifying potential groups that require assistance," she said.

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349