Hours for Impact

Advancing Chronic Disease Detection

Advancing Chronic Disease Detection: Men sitting in red chairs

Health Monitoring Network in Changsha

Number of Hours Pledged: 100 

SDG Supported: #3 Good Health and Well-Being

Country: China 

Summary: An increasing number of people across China are living with chronic conditions that impact their quality of life—and can become life-threatening without proper treatment. Looking to help his community, Yawei Song, PMP, is putting his expertise in healthcare project management to work: volunteering his time to advance chronic disease detection in Changsha, the capital of China’s Hunan province.

Advancing Chronic Disease Detection: Man standing in white lab coat

“I started to do this because I hoped to contribute more to society,” says Song, a project manager in the medical equipment sector.

The prevalence of diabetes is a particular concern for China’s population: In 2021, the country had approximately 141 million people living with the disease—the highest number of any nation. By testing blood sugar and uric acid levels, Song has helped people in his community determine if they have chronic disease indicators for diabetes and other conditions. The result? Individuals at risk can take proper steps to improve their condition—helping make progress toward U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 3, to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.”

“For me, it’s a blueprint for achieving a better and more sustainable future,” Song says. 

Song worked as part of a team of five volunteers who pledged time through PMI’s Hours for Impact program. To deliver maximum impact, they honed in on nearby nursing homes, government-subsidized housing and neighborhoods where they felt people could benefit most from medical screenings, particularly elderly residents who may not be able to easily access healthcare services. After performing tests, the volunteers explained the results, shared their medical knowledge and offered suggestions for how to manage care—from formal treatment options to adjustments to lifestyle and diet.

Their dedication paid off: The team found many people were in subhealth status or were already ill, indicating a need for medical intervention. “It gives me a sense of achievement by helping others to identify their health problems so they can do something to prevent or cure potential diseases in time,” Song says.

The team’s volunteer work is also supporting Song’s professional work—providing information and experiences that could “improve products and accelerate project progress,” he says.

And though Song says balancing work and life with volunteering can be challenging, he considers it his “social responsibility” and plans to volunteer more time through Hours for Impact.

“I hope it helps to improve people’s health, as well as helps them to feel the warmth of the society,” he says. “Serving others gives me a sense of achievement. My motivation comes from my heart.”

Advancing Chronic Disease Detection: Man standing in nature with sunglasses

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