Team to create world of 'lifesavers'

Updated: 2015-06-25 07:47

By Dong Leshuo and Hua Shengdun in Washington (China Daily)

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More people in China are to be trained in a lifesaving resuscitation procedure used to deal with cardiac arrest following the signing of an agreement with the United States in Washington on Tuesday.

The memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Science and Technology and the American Heart Association covers three areas of cooperation: sharing cardiovascular science, increasing physician-exchange opportunities and boosting cardiopulmonary resuscitation training and awareness in China.

"Health is one of the eternal pursuits of mankind," said Vice-Premier Liu Yandong. "As the No 1 killer for human health, cardiovascular diseases take over 17 million lives each year globally. Both China and the US are countries with high incidences of cardiovascular disease."

The incidence of noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer has seen a striking increase, said Wang Zhigang, vice-minister of science and technology.

"The general public in China does not have sufficient knowledge about the prevention and emergency treatment of cardiovascular diseases," Wang said. "CPR equipment is rarely provided in public spaces.

"China has a lot of room for improvement in these aspects, and there is great potential for collaboration between China and the US."

Douglas Boyle, international committee chairman of the heart association, said, "We believe together we can create a world of 'lifesavers', a world where everyone can live a healthier and longer life.

"This memorandum allows us to work at a much higher level, with much more support and focus. This allows us to engage across the whole country. I think it really allows us to take the success we've had, and triple it, or quadruple it."

Boyle said cardiovascular disease knows no political or religious affiliation.

A report from the World Economic Forum and the Harvard School of Public Health estimated that the total global cost of cardiovascular disease will top $1 trillion in 2025.

"This loss impacts families and communities, and the economic burden it presents impacts entire healthcare systems and countries," Boyle said.

CPR is a lifesaving technique used in many emergencies, when a person's breathing or heartbeat has stopped.

Liu Jingyang in Washington contributed to this story.

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