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Fund for Low-income Kids with Kidney Disease

The Chinese Red Cross Foundation (CRCF) launched a program in Beijing on Thursday to help low-income children suffering from nephropathy (a kidney disease) to get treatment.

The program, called "Headspring of Angels," will raise funds from the public, said Liu Xuanguo, deputy secretary of the CRCF, at the launching ceremony.

"The funds will be spent on surgery or treatment for affected children below 14 years old," Liu said.

The foundation has already received donations totaling 900,000 yuan (about US$120,000) from hospitals and pharmacy companies. It plans to give 10,000 to 50,000 yuan each to 100 children this year, based on their health situation and family finances, Liu said.

More than 2 million Chinese children aged 2 to 14, out of about 300 million, suffer from the disease. Most of them live in rural or remote areas, according to Liu.

"Children from poor families may miss the best chance for treatment because of high cost," he said. "This may lead to renal failure, which requires dialysis or transplantation."

Liu called on the public to donate to the fund.

The CRCF has launched similar programs to help children suffering from leukemia and brain disorders.

(Xinhua News Agency January 11, 2008)

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