Procter & Gamble Supports Yale University Collaboration For Public Health Training throughout China

Yale University has received a five-year, $400,000 grant from The Procter & Gamble Co. to help develop a new public health training program in the People's Republic of China. Yale's Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, which is an accredited school of public health, will collaborate with the new Union School of Public Health in Beijing.

Yale University has received a five-year, $400,000 grant from The Procter & Gamble Co. to help develop a new public health training program in the People’s Republic of China. Yale’s Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, which is an accredited school of public health, will collaborate with the new Union School of Public Health in Beijing.

The collaboration will strengthen the Union School’s curriculum in public health law, health economics, health care systems and reform, smoking control, environmental health, oral hygiene and nutrition. “These areas are essential for training today’s Chinese public health professionals,” said Professor Chen Chunming, dean of Union School of Public Health, Peking Union Medical College.

In a meeting today with Professor Chunming in China, Procter & Gamble’s chairman and chief executive John E. Pepper said: “We are pleased to support this important public health training program in China. Union School was founded to strengthen public health practice and training throughout China through a unique approach of bringing the resources of business, government and educators together. Expanding these programs will help advance China’s public health efforts and improve the lives of Chinese people.” Pepper also is a member of the Yale Corporation, which is the Yale governing board.

Michael Merson, dean of Public Health at Yale and director of the China collaboration, said: “Fundamental political and economic changes are presenting China with not only many health risks associated with developing nations – such as infectious and parasitic diseases – but also rising rates of diseases associated with lifestyle changes, including cancer, heart disease, and sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS. In addition, 70 percent of adult men in China smoke, creating a huge need for anti-smoking campaigns organized by public health workers.”

Merson also cited health risks related to environmental pollution from thousands of new factories in China and the import of billions of tons of industrial waste, such as used cars and machine parts, which generate contaminants such as PCBs and asbestos.

Yale first collaborated with Union School in 1996 when the Rockefeller Foundation asked Yale faculty to help develop a new curriculum in public health law for China. The curriculum covered a comparative approach to public health law, thereby shedding light on China’s own laws. Under the Procter & Gamble-funded project, Yale faculty will return to Beijing to refine the public health law curriculum and help to disseminate it to faculties at approximately 30 other public health schools in China.

In addition to curriculum development in other academic areas, the new grant also will fully fund summer internships in China for Yale students in public health, said Merson, who previously headed global programs for the World Health Organization on diarrheal diseases, acute respiratory infections and AIDS. The proposed internship topics for the first year are a study on smoking and mortality in China; an AIDS prevention project; a survey on tetanus in newborn babies in Qinghai Province; a study of nutrition and cardiovascular disease; and a study measuring the burden of disease on families and communities.

“P&G cares about the communities where it does business”, said Dimitri Panayotopoulos, president, P&G China. “Procter & Gamble has been actively supporting the important causes in China that improve the quality of life here. P&G has provided more than $5 million for education, health care, environment protection, disaster-relief and social welfare projects. These projects include partnership with the Ministry of Health on oral health education for children in rural areas, and working with the Ministry of Education to support teenage puberty education.”

Union School of Public Health was founded in 1989 as the first graduate-level public health training program in China. Union School is a collaborative effort of three leading Chinese medical institutions: The Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, Peking Union Medical College and the Beijing Medical University. Students are required to complete a field placement and thesis, similar to the requirements of students in public health at Yale.

Epidemiology & Public Health (EPH) at Yale is one of the oldest accredited public health schools in the United States. EPH offers masters and doctoral degrees in international health, environmental health sciences, health policy and administration, chronic disease epidemiology, epidemiology of microbial diseases, and biostatistics, with special offerings in health management and regulatory affairs.

P&G established its first joint venture in China in 1988, and is now celebrating its tenth year in China. P&G currently has eleven joint venture and wholly owned companies in China – located in Guangzhou, Beijing, Chengdu and Tianjin – which produce a wide range of household products.

Founded in 1837, Procter & Gamble is one of the world’s largest consumer products manufacturers, with worldwide sales of $35.8 billion. P&G has operations in more than 70 countries, and markets more than 300 brands in more than 140 countries.

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