Surmang Foundation has operated a primary care clinic in a remote, poor region of Western China, in partnership with the Chinese Government, Qinghai Province, and Yushu Prefecture, since 1992. The Core Project has treated over 60,000 patients for free, including medicine, since the clinic building was completed in 1996. Its focus is on the maternal and child mortality/morbidity rates of the region, among the highest in the world. It supports two local ethnic Tibetan doctors, Phuntsok Dongdrup and Sonam Drogha.
In our catchment area, the average annual income is about $50. Surmang Foundation’s remote site is a test case and a model for all of rural China, because impoverished nomadic Tibetans manifest in the extreme, most rural health and poverty problems. In cooperation with the Chinese Government and several hospitals, Surmang Foundation is currently expanding its mission to address the lack of access to basic services among the 28 million impoverished residents of rural, Western China and the lack of capacity of the local medical providers.
The pilot project will create a network of remote providers for IT-based distance medical education and remote diagnosis and referral. The pilot began in 2005 with the promulgation of an archive of all Tibetan and Chinese language health promotion materials and continued in 2006 with the installation of a satellite dish at the Surmang campus.
A part of that is the Community Health Worker Project funded by an AmCham grant in Spring 2005.
Surmang Foundation has partnered with the Soong Ching-ling Foundation since November 2005.