Medical Work, Rehabilitation and Public Health
From the start of Evergreen’s medical work in 1994 with a survey of 50 village families, the medical team has conducted public health and epidemiological research and surveys to inform our clinical and health education work. The results help us to understand the situation and better plan our projects to meet needs in appropriate ways. The public health projects also gave us opportunities to work with, inform and train local partners in research methods. See below for more information about Evergreen’s most recent public health projects:
Metabolic Syndrome Project
Changing lifestyles and dietary patterns are leading to increased rates of obesity and other chronic diseases in China. With permission from the Yuci Public Health Bureau, in 2008 Evergreen’s Public Health Team surveyed 800 people born in Yuci in 1956, 1960, and 1964, and found that 46.4% of the participants in this study sample have metabolic syndrome, a precursor to diabetes and heart disease. Follow-up was done in 2012 and 2016 and several papers were published based on the data.
In order to reduce the effects of these devastating illnesses, Evergreen provided health education and chronic disease management through the local community health system in Yuci and Taiyuan, as well as in villages in Yangqu County until 2014. Evergreen has done extensive training on healthy lifestyles for busy professionals through local companies and their employees.
PATH: New Pathway to Health, a Diabetes Prevention Project
Seeing that 46% of middle aged people in the community had metabolic syndrome and were at increased risk of developing diabetes, and wanting to do an intervention to help prevent diabetes, in 2012 the Yuci team applied for and received a grant from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). A six-month randomized controlled trial was conducted to evaluate an intensive lifestyle intervention program, Pathway to Health (PATH), for the prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in at-risk Chinese women. In this trial:
- We served 200 Chinese women age 35 to 65 at risk for developing diabetes mellitus.
- Intervention groups received 23 weekly sessions over six months.
- Control groups received six health education sessions over six months (standard care).
- The curriculum is available for download at pathdpp.com.
In Fall 2016 we did a pilot of a revised six-session version since the standard care group did almost as well as the intervention group at the one-year follow-up. The goal was to provide a proven intervention program to China’s primary care system.
Past Public Health Projects
- Cobbler Program (putting shoes on barefoot doctors, i.e., training village doctors) (1996-2001)
- Well-Baby Program (1996-2003)
- Rickets Prevention Program (1997-2007)
- Antenatal Program (1999-2005)
- Lead Poisoning Prevention and Treatment Program (2004-2012)
- Yangqu County Village Health Education (2007-2009)
- Tuberculosis Identification and Treatment Program (2008-2012)
For more information about Evergreen’s involvement in public health or other areas of medical work, please contact us.