Yale China: Health Service Trip Explored Public Health and Education Needs in Western Hunan

Chia Fellow WU Liaofang (lower right) led a project on diabetes self-care management training with local nurses at Fenghuang County Hospital. Photo right: Participants at Jixin Township Elementary School, where we donated 12 boxes of books and held English reading club and health promotion activities.

Yale-China’s Health Service Trip to the mountainous and underserved far west of Hunan Province in March brought together 41 participants. Travelers included students and faculty from the Yale and Xiangya Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Public Health, students from Western Hunan’s Jishou University, former fellows of our Chia Women in the Health Professions Fellowship Program, and Yale-China staff and Trustees. Service projects reached more than 500 local people, and included respiratory health screening, diabetes screening and education, childhood lead poisoning education, health professionals training for county hospitals, management training for the presidents of township hospitals, home visits with local families, book donation and English reading club activities at Jixin Township Elementary. During the trip, we also convened the first Western Hunan Chia Conference. Yale-China is in the early stages of exploring an ambitious health and education initiative in the region, in collaboration with Hunan health officials and Xiangya.