“Love save pneumoconiosis” founder Wang Keqin: To not give up on life is a fundamental principle
By: Wang Hui 王辉, July 14, 2014
Source: Beijing Times 京华时报
In an interview, Wang Keqin, the founder of the organization “Love save pneumoconiosis”, discusses his organization’s recently published report on how pneumoconiosis (black lung disease) affects rural workers, which is the first specialized report on this topic. Wang Keqin hopes this report will draw much needed attention to this problem.
Wang Keqin’s past experience perhaps provides him with a better understanding of how to enact positive policy change. Not only did he previously work as a government secretary in Lanzhou of Gansu Province just after graduating from school, but several years ago, he also published a report on AIDS transmission, which had noticeable and definite policy change as a result. Wang Keqin believes that a holistic approach, involving an active media, sympathetic public, and informed government leadership is the key to change. Wang also believes China can learn much from the experiences of developed countries, such as the United States and european countries.
Approximately 6 million migrant workers are affected by pneumoconiosis in China, which is a strikingly high number. The vast majority of those with this disease never signed a labor contract. Many workers do not wear masks while working, largely due to the fact that masks are not provided by work units. Safety measures are often missing on work sites, and many workers do not apply for compensation for health related problems and injury. Of those who apply, less than one fifth end up receiving compensation.
Translation by Kelly McCarthy