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Health insurance for orphans to combat critical disease
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08:25, July 23, 2009

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The China Children and Teenagers' Fund (CCTF) launched their Safeguarding Orphans' Health program Tuesday to provide insurance for orphans across the country in a bid to prevent critical illness.

The program will provide healthy orphans with special public welfare insurance under the China Children Insurance Foundation (CCIF), said Song Liying, secretary-general of CCTF.

A survey conducted by the Ministry of Civil Affairs in 2005 showed that China had around 573,000 orphans below the age of 18. The ministry is currently carrying out a survey on the health conditions of orphans.

Heidi Hu, CCIF's managing director, said that the foundation would work out a special insurance plan for the orphans based on the results of the survey.

CCIF will distribute insurance cards via local civil affairs departments to give to orphans.

Members of the public and enterprises can make donations online, via mobile text message and at banks and post offices to support the new scheme. The foundation is partnering with Give2Asia to enable overseas donations.

An individual whose donation exceeds 20,000 yuan ($2,927), or a company whose donation exceeds 200,000 yuan ($29,274) may designate money to specific recipients.

There are around 360 million children in China. Less than half are covered by the commercial medical insurance system or social welfare, according to CCTF. Many children who are covered by a scheme cannot afford expensive treatments for a disease such as leukemia.

Song Liying said CCTF set up CCIF on April 9 to provide insurance protection, rather than simply give traditional cash donations, to healthy children aged between 3 and 15, in an effort to maximize the impact of donations raised to save children with critical illnesses.

Source: Global Times

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