Action on Salt China: Capacity Strengthening Achievements | Updated: 2023-11-16
The public health workforce associated with ASC program has experienced significant benefits, underscored by several exceptional achievements in capacity strengthening, as detailed below:
The competencies and skills necessary for the creation, implementation, and evaluation of population-based salt reduction interventions have seen significant improvements. The CDC staff who participated in this study have acquired in-depth knowledge and practical experience in conducting RCTs and overseeing salt reduction interventions across a variety of environments. Furthermore, collaboration and communication skills with members from non-health sectors, such as educators, have been enhanced to effectively facilitate public health interventions.
The public health workforce has enhanced its abilities regarding the utilization of mHealth innovations, which bolster the implementation of salt reduction interventions. A noteworthy illustration of this is the employment of the AppSalt platform in healthcare education; it has been deemed effective, feasible, and innovative in ensuring a sustainable decrease in salt consumption among both children and adults. This application served as the foundation for the EduSaltS project — a salt reduction scaling-up program initiated in over 300 schools in China.
The research capabilities within the realm of public health have seen substantial enhancements. Researchers and investigators from ASC have successfully published more than 60 scholarly articles in high-impact journals including two BMJ articles for the main results of AIS and HIS. These publications' critical findings hold substantial implications for policies, procedures, and further research both in China and globally.
Community engagement, advocacy, and social mobilization capacities have been considerably enhanced. For example, the World Hypertension League organized children's art competitions in which numerous schoolchildren participated to commemorate World Hypertension Day from 2020 to 2022. Throughout the duration of the project, consumer awareness campaigns were carried out, encompassing annual events such as World Salt Awareness Week and China's Salt Awareness Week, among other significant campaign days.
The capacity for evidence-based policymaking has been significantly enhanced. The ASC program has effectively prepared public health professionals with evidence, enabling them to advocate and lobby for improvements in policies concerning salt reduction. In 2023, the Chinese Journal of Preventative Medicine published a crucial policy document titled "Deepening the Action on Salt China — CHRPS Strategies". Another influential paper, proposing maximum sodium targets for pre-packaged foods in China was published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization. Furthermore, ASC has been instrumental in advocating for revisions to the nutritional labeling standards for pre-packaged and restaurant foods.