September 7, 2010   Leave a comment


I hope everyone had a good labor day holiday.  I will be posting every few days.  The post will try to cover three areas, something about public health, something from the China news media that has to do with public health and then periodically some funny/interesting things that happened during the day or week.

From Public Health:  I will be located at the West China School of Public Health which is at the Huaxi medical campus.  The School of Public Health was founded in 1914 as a department in the medical school.   The medical school was founded in 1910 by western physicians affiliated with missionaries.  In 1990  the medical campus became part of Sichuan University.  Sichuan University has three campuses, the main campus,  where our apartment is located is the oldest campus and the original campus of the University.  In addition to the medical campus, there is a newly built campus to the south of Chengdu, where most of the 1st and 2nd year undergraduates will have classes.  I have not been out to the new campus, but understand it is very nice.  This year is the 100th anniversary of  founding of the medical campus so there are a large number of celebrations planned (beginning September 29th) including several medical groups from the United States.  I  will provide more information about these as the date gets closer.


From the China News:  In a recent issue of the China Daily (the English version of Chinese news) there was an article describing the current  Chinese population census.  According to the paper, the last census was last done in 2000 and the population reported to be around 1.1 billion persons.  In preparing to come to China the figure I most often saw for the Chinese population was 1.3 billion which reflects the projected change over the last decade.  It will be interesting to see what the new projections are once the census is completed.  Of particular interest in the west is the impact of the China Family Planning policy that was implemented in the early 1970’s.  

 The article on the census provided an explanation of the policy which I have briefly summarized below.      According to the article, in  the 1970’s, the Chinese government made it a basic state policy to carry out family planning and population control as a part of the effort to improve the quality of life of the population and incorporated it in the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China.   The plan was consider an important part of China’s overall effort of national economic and social development. The main components of the current family planning policy are: Advocating delayed marriage and delayed child bearing; fewer and healthier births; and advocating one child for one couple. Some rural couples with difficulties are allowed to have a second child a few years after the birth of their first child. There are practical differences in the family planning policy between urban and rural areas, and between the Han and ethnic minorities, i.e., the policy for rural areas is more flexible than for urban areas and for national minorities more flexible than for Han people. Each province (autonomous region or municipality) has formulated a corresponding policy and regulations in accordance with the state’s policy but also consider local conditions and local legislation and procedures.  In most rural areas, families are allowed to apply to have a second child if the first is a girl, or has a physical disability, mental illness or mental retardation. 

According to sources in Beijing, China would have 400,000,000 more people had they not implemented the family planning policy.  One of the challenges of the policy is that China’s male population outnumbers females by 37 million. Statistics from the Information Office of the State Council show the sex ratio for newborns is 119 boys to 100 girls.

My Day:  Today, was our health check up day.   All persons entering China on a visa other than a basic visitor’s permit must have a health check.  This consists of getting to the international clinic (the earlier the better as the lines can be rather daunting later in the day), filling out a health form (fortunately it includes English), getting registered (including giving them your passports and having your photo made), and paying the health fee, roughly $60/person.  Then, we move through a series of stations, first chest x-ray, then a general check by a physician, then blood and urine analysis, then EKG, then Ultrasound (yes, even for us guys), and  a couple of other test I frankly don’t remember.  It reminded me of the day, way back in college when I had to go through my draft physical. 
The whole process took about 1 hour covering three floors of the clinic.  After the last station we when to the check- out where we were given a carton of milk (since we did not have breakfast).  The results will be ready tomorrow and we must keep them sealed and handed over to the International Office of the University as part of the requirements to get a residency permit.  There are a couple of other items we are in the process of getting to meet these requirements but more about those later.


Posted September 7, 2010 by uolrrj in Uncategorized

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