A total of 35,000 disabled orphans in China have received free
surgery and rehabilitation treatment over the past three year,
thanks to a program launched by the Ministry of Civil Affairs
The "Tomorrow Plan -- Operations and Rehabilitation for Disabled
Orphans", launched in May 2004, has promoted medical care for
orphans suffering from congenital diseases and infantile
More than 750 million yuan (US$96.2 million) has been used in
the program, including 700 million yuan from the public welfare
fund raised from the welfare lottery and 50 million yuan from
public donations, Li Liguo, vice minister of Civil Affairs, said on
Li said the program had also brought more opportunities for the
children to return to families or find jobs in the future.
"Among the disabled orphans who received treatment, 5,000 have
found new families at home or overseas," Li said.
About 66,000 orphans and abandoned babies live in welfare homes
nationwide and about half are disabled, according to the Ministry
of Civil Affairs.
Li said the ministry had decided to extend the program to focus
on treatment of children suffering from brain paralysis or other
He also said the ministry planned to install more rehabilitation
equipment in orphanages and train more rehabilitation
"We will try to ensure prompt medical checks for disabled
orphans so they can receive timely treatment and have a better
chance to fully recover," Li said.
Official statistics show that the rate of new-borns with
congenital defects has risen from 11 per thousand in 2002 to 14 per
thousand in 2005.
(Xinhua News Agency May 31, 2007)