BEIJING, July 21 (Xinhua) -- China Children and Teenagers' Fund (CCTF) launched a "Safeguarding Orphans' Health" program Tuesday to provide insurance for orphans across China to prevent against critical illnesses.
The program will provide healthy orphans with special public welfare insurance under the China Children Insurance Foundation (CCIF), said Song Liying, secretary general of CCTF.
A survey conducted by the Ministry of Civil Affairs in 2005 showed that China has about 573,000 orphans below 18 years old. The ministry has been carrying out a new survey on the health conditions of the orphans.
Heidi Hu, CCIF's managing director, said the foundation will work out a special insurance plan for the orphans based on the results of the survey. It will distribute insurance cards through local civil affairs departments to orphans.
The public and enterprises may make donations online, through mobile text message, as well as banks and post offices. The foundation also partners with Give2Asia to help enabling overseas supporters to make donations.
An individual whose donation exceeds 20,000 yuan (2,942 U.S. dollars), or a company whose donation exceeds 200,000 yuan, may designate the money to specific recipients, according to Hu.
There are about 360 million children in China. Less than half are covered by the commercial medical insurance system or social welfare system, according to the CCTF. Even those who are covered can not afford expensive treatments for a disease like leukemia.
Song Liying said the CCTF set up CCIF on April 9 to provide insurance protection, rather than traditional cash donations to healthy children aged 3 to 15, in an effort to maximize the impact of philanthropy donations raised to save children with critical illnesses.
Before the "Safeguarding Orphans' Health" program, CCIF has already provided insurance protection worth 100,000 yuan to an insured child with a donation of 20 yuan against four critical illnesses including leukemia, renal failure, severe burn, and blindness.