The Kashin-Beck disease (KBD) is a neglected disease afflicting mostly poor areas of China and resulting in stunted growth, joint deformities and chronic pain. Exact causes are still uncertain but risk factors have been identified: multi nutrients and vitamins deficiency, as well as fungal contamination of grains. The KBD program of the RC Shanghai supports the Kashin-Beck Disease Fund (KBD Fund) by providing greenhouses to grow vegetables and material to avoid the contamination of grains, both which help communities to prevent this disease. Furthermore by supporting village clinics, it helps to monitor children growth and to improve health knowledge for remote communities. Now, while working on the same topics (nutrition, food diversification and health promotion) we would like to transfer knowledge to the partners.

Training program: the three above described programs can only be successful if they are accompanied by training sessions. Main topics are: nutrition, children growth and pediatric development, health and hygiene promotion, set up of vegetable garden, management and set up of seeds banks and greenhouses, good practices on agriculture and grain storage, etc. Trainings are done at several levels for different target persons. KBDF is convinced that the training component of its project is the one that will make other programs really effective, successful and especially sustainable in order to prevent the disease and preserve the next generation of contracting the disease.

KBD Fund tries as much as possible to involve the local population in the implementation, as they will be the beneficiaries and will become responsible for the measures undertaken in their own village or family. Before KBD Fund intervention, discussion and consultation with the villagers always take place. The team explain the project and make villagers understand the process and the benefits of the several measures.


Short-term goals:

  • Improvement of the general health of the children through food diversification, nutrients supplementation and health promotion
  • Reduction of the fungal contamination of the grains
  • Independence of clinics and village doctors
  • Local production of seeds through seeds banks

Long-term goals:

  • Change of the food habit of the villagers and the children
  • Reduction of chronic malnutrition
  • Disappearance of mycotoxins on barley grains
  • To cover larger endemic zones
  • Reduction of number of new cases of KBD (to protect next generations of contracting the disease)

Major achievements

  • KBD Fund supports 4,653 families
  • 1,566 familial greenhouses and 24 seeds banks have been built
  • 61 clinics were opened for the monthly monitoring of 1,500 children from 0 to 5 years
  • Agricultural machines distributed: 108 seeds dressing machines, 49 threshing machines, 470 fans, 22 barley mills, 34 oil machines.
  • A drop from 30 to less than 3% (2004-2012) of KBD new cases was observed in the villages where KBD Fund is working

How can you support?

Our work to eliminate KBD in China is ongoing. In 2019, we have raised $31,200 USD (218,400 RMB) to continue the efforts. 15 greenhouses, plus tools, seeds, training and field assistants will be organized to create sustainable nutrition sources for 250 families in Qinghai. Continued funding, expertise, and awareness is appreciated to continue our efforts to eradicate this disease. Please contact committee director Michel De Vriendt for inquiries.



KBD Families supported


Greenhouses built

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