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Helping children with epilepsy in China

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    China has more than 9 million people with epilepsy and the numbers are rising. Around 400,000 new cases are recorded every year.

    However, most people with epilepsy do not have access to state-of-the-art care. It is estimated that around 63% of epilepsy patients have not received standard therapy.

    This is a huge challenge: millions of people are not getting the care they need. UCB is playing its part in improving the lives of people with epilepsy in China.

    Since 2013, we have partnered with Project Hope, a humanitarian organization dedicated to improving health services and health education. Together, we have supported the Rainbow Bridge program which focuses on enhancing care for children through a series of educational initiatives.

    The project seeks to improve diagnosis, treatment and access to medical specialists, while also striving to increase disease awareness and eliminating the stigma that can accompany epilepsy. The initiatives are supported by the China Association Against Epilepsy (CAAE) and the Pediatric Neurology Committee of the Chinese Society of Pediatric, Chinese Medical Association.

    Real results and future plans
    Project Hope and UCB have collaborated with the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center and 12 leading hospitals across China to implement the first stage of the Rainbow Bridge program.

    We are proud of the impact this project has had since its launch and have agreed to extend the program for another three years, reflecting UCB’s commitment to the epilepsy community and to improving lives in China. The second stage of Rainbow Bridge will provide upgraded integrated care to more Chinese children living with epilepsy and their families.

    We have seen this project make a real difference to children and their families. We have heard mothers share their stories of how they dealt with their child’s diagnosis and how the Rainbow Bridge project has been a beacon of hope for them.

    Health professionals also appreciate the initiative and have told us how the program improving their understanding of the patient journey. During the first four years of the of Rainbow Bridge, 1,675 pediatricians and general physicians from 28 provinces benefited from 17 on-site neurology training sessions. This has benefited around 160,000 children.

    Almost 2,000 copies of a new Pediatric Epilepsy Primary Care Training Manual have been distributed to doctors and an online medical educational module has helped physicians in remote areas to obtain the latest disease and diagnosis information. More than 17,000 clinicians have completed the only course.

    Our enthusiasm for this initiative is based on strong results like this. As we embark on a new phase in the Rainbow Bridge program we look forward to continuing to have a real impact on the lives of people with epilepsy in China.

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