Head of community health center awarded 2021 Sasakawa Prize by WHO
Updated 22:33, 28-May-2021
Gong Zhe , Feng Yilei

Dr Wu Hao, head of Fangzhuang Community Health Service Center in Beijing, China, was awarded the 2021 Sasakawa Prize by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday, during the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.

"Dr Wu has devoted his career to improving community health and integrating the use of technology to ensure more people can access care close to home," said WHO in a tweet.

According to the prize's introduction on the WHO website, a statuette and a sum of $30,000 will be awarded.

Screenshot from WHO's official Twitter account.

Screenshot from WHO's official Twitter account.

"This is not only an award for me. It's also for everyone who helped safeguarding the fairness in access to basic health services across China," he said after knowing the good news.

Thousands of people liked the news on Weibo, a Chinese-language microblog service, in an hour after the news broke on the platform.

"He is among those who reinforced Wuhan. My respect to all of them," read a Weibo comment.

Also a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Wu regularly proposed practical advice to the goverment about how to run better community health services, especially how to protect and ensure equal access to health care in poor areas.

Wu "pioneered an intelligent family physician-optimized collaborative concept (IFOCM)," WHO said, adding that the IFOCM can enable doctors to "remotely assess and monitor patients, ensure 24-hour customized care, and refer patients to specialist care when needed."

He also established a 24-hour free health consultation service for the community via WeChat during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is still functioning.

A screenshot of the WeChat official account of Fangzhuang Community Health Service Center headed by Wu Hao, acquired on May 28, 2021.

A screenshot of the WeChat official account of Fangzhuang Community Health Service Center headed by Wu Hao, acquired on May 28, 2021.

In addition, Wu also went to Wuhan in the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak and helped fight against the pandemic as a leading expert on community-level disease control.

According to Beijing News, Wu had almost no vacations in 2020 in order to deal with COVID-19. "It's my job to join this long-term combat against the pandemic. I'm ready to work at any time," he said in March 2020.

Wu graduated from Wannan Medical College in Wuhu, China in 1997 and finished his postgraduate education at La Trobe University in Australia in 2013. As a professor on management of community health service, he teaches postgraduate students at the Capital Medial University in Beijing.

He was selected as one of the leading experts on community health service in Beijing in 2013. He was also named as one of the best 10 general practitioners in China in 2016.

Wu was also listed as one of the 1,499 role models in China's fight against the COVID-19 epidemic on September 8, 2020.

The Sasakawa Prize was established in 1984 with fund provided by Sasakawa Ryoichi, Chairman of the Japan Shipbuilding Industry Foundation and President of the Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation.

Wu is the third Chinese person to win the prize, after Dr. Niu Dongping in 1989 and Dr. Du Xueping in 2010.

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