The Tibet Autonomous Region in southwest China recently screened more than 2.9 million people in 74 districts and counties for hydatid disease, with a screening rate of 99 percent.
Of those screened, 16,000 people require surgical treatment.
Before the year 2020, Tibet will provide free surgery and medical treatment to those cases suffering from hydatid disease.
Hydatid disease is a zoonotic parasitic disease, which is highly endemic on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Once a person contracts hydatid disease, they will gradually become disabled and lose their ability to work, which means their family may become impoverished.
Garyun, a person from Baixiong Township in Nagchu who has undergone surgery for the disease five times, is unable to bear the trauma from the surgeries and therefore relies only on drug treatment.
"Previously, I couldn't get reimbursed for some medicine, and I had to pay 1,600 yuan (242 US dollars) for them per month. I was in such financial difficulty that I could barely buy a new washing machine after the one broke down."
Unlike before, this recent screening included something new: screenings and treatment were carried out at the same time, with patients receiving free treatment as soon as they were screened.
Garyun said, "Last time when I went to collect my hydatid medicine, the doctor told me from now on I don't need to pay for it."
After spending hundreds of thousands of yuan for medical fee over the last 12 years of being infected, Garyun no longer has to worry about this expense.
Basang Drolma, chairman of the Baixiong Township People's Congress, said, "These days, the people in the township have been asking when they can go see a doctor and when they can have surgery."
People's awareness of the treatment for hydatid disease has been significantly enhanced during this screening, and more and more people want to see a doctor.
Tibet currently has 13 designated treatment hospitals for hydatid disease. Patient treatment and normalization of precaution is now the priority of the hydatid disease prevention and control work.