China's free cancer tests benefit rural women

Beijing, Oct 26 (IANS) About 25.4 million rural women in China have received free cervical or breast cancer screenings since a national program was launched in 2009, said a women's organisation Saturday.

The programme offering free cervical and breast cancer tests to rural women was initiated by the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF) and the National Health and Family Planning Commission as part of the country's ambitious $138.59 billion health care reform plan.

About 11,000 impoverished women patients have been provided with free treatment after being tested and diagnosed with the diseases, said the ACWF.

With $91.63 million in government funding, the programme has managed to have 11.69 million rural women receive free cervical cancer tests. It has also managed breast cancer tests for 1.46 million women during a trial period which ran from 2009 to 2011 in about 200 counties nationwide.

The government has decided to extend the programme till 2015 with plans to offer cervical and breast cancer screenings to more rural women, according to the ACWF.

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