Public Health Program for the villagers of Longsheng
One of Viori's key Social Responsibility Pillars in Longsheng is supporting the Red Yao in its 'Community Well-being'. Although this is a very broad term, the villagers seem quite clear in what their priorities are in this category: physical and mental health.
This week Viori hosted its first program related to this category. We invited a non-profit 'One-village' to team up with our CSR team to conduct the first 'Public Health' program in Longsheng.
One-village is a non-profit which partners with companies and schools to provide service based programs in rural areas across China. It's mission is to create equal opportunities for villagers in under privileged rural areas. With these values being very aligned with our CSR values we were excited to be connected with One-village and looked forward to this first program.
The local challenge:
Often rural areas face limited access to public health services together with a lack of knowledge on general health. With traditional (and often more healthy) lifestyles being affected by more modern (and often unhealthy) lifestyles, these realities can lead to serious problems if not taken seriously. The programs objective was to get a better understanding of the severity of this issue in Longsheng, together with coming up with next steps to help address them.
Having done our best in spreading the word around the village in the days prior to the program of a FREE public health event to be hosted, it was hard to predict what the actual participation would be as villagers often change their schedules depending on the task at hand. Besides spreading the word, Viori's CSR connected One-village with key local villagers and helped with on-site organization of the program.
With the event venue set up, and the equipment installed; the event was ready to start. Slowly but surely the people that had shown their interested started to show up together with many other unexpected or even unknown villagers.
One-village conducted interviews, provided free health check-ups and gave short consultations on healthy habits. In total 98 villagers showed up to the event and enrolled in the event receiving free services, quite a large number considering the size of the village and it being our first of such programs!
Over 98 villagers participated in the check-ups with the majority being over the age of 50. The survey showed that over half of the villagers hadn't received basic health checks in their entire lives, with the reasons often being clinics being too far away and/or the costs of making the effort being too high.
In terms of health check-ups were conducted testing on blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Of the 98 people measured the majority results fell within margins, with a few results showing signs of concern. When comparing the measured results with the answers given about their changed lifestyle, there seemed to be a link between the two, although a broader group would need to be measured make such observations more robust.
Other results included the major lack of knowledge regarding basic health guidelines and identifying disease symptoms. Knowing how to identify certain symptoms is known to increase likelihood of recovery substantially. A lack in such knowledge can therefore put many villagers at unnecessary risk.
The above are some of the basic results and observations of the program conducted by One-village. Using the entire results, One-village will come up with a long-term plan to address these issues with the goal of improving the access and knowledge of health care for the people of Longsheng.
It was a great joy working together with One-village on this project, and we look forward to many more programs to come!