A Belgium medical professor said on Saturday that the Chinese Special Olympics athletes enjoy better health care than other developing countries at the Shanghai Special Olympics World Summer Games.
Luc Marks, a professor with the department of paediatric dentistry, Ghent University in Belgium, said the people with intellectual disabilities in China must have favorable health care based on the results of checkup they have done in the Special Olympics Town.
"I am a dentist, so in my part, I could see less problems in Chinese kids than those coming from other developing countries," Marks said at the area of the Special Smiles in the Town, which aims to offer diverse and popular entertainment activities for the intellectually disabled athletes.
Healthy Athletes, an important program within Special Olympics World Summer Games, is also conducted in the Town, and Special Smiles is among the six areas of the program. Other five parts include Fit Feet, FUNfitness, Healthy Hearing, Health Promotion, Opening Eyes.
"According to the data we collected in the first days at the Games, the Chinese kids are in better conditions than what I saw in many other developing countries, they must be well treated, and it is encouraging," the professor said.
"We conducted hundreds of checks per day so far, and for the whole program, I perceive over one thousand. All the athletes from the Shanghai Special Olympics are welcome here to take this free medical checkup."
The program, developed in 1996 and globally implemented since, is designed to help Special Olympics athletes improve their health and fitness, leading to enhanced sports experience and improved well-being.
As a volunteer of the Special Olympics, Marks rated the program as "imperative", not only in providing the checkup for those athletes who have less access to health care, but also in capturing helpful data for further studies or policy-making in government.
"We have a Healthy Athletes Software system, a web-based application, and all the data we collected will enter this system.
"The data gathered here are important for planning, programs, gaining support, improving policies and research."
"There will be an international conference to be held in Dubai where world's 25,000 dentists get together, and I will have the Games' results reported to the conference, hopefully making the concerning bodies aware of the problem."