Kashin-Beck Disease Fund asbl/vzw

Implementation of appropriate and sustainable prevention programmes, and research on Kashin-Beck Disease causes.

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To identify the causes of the Kashin-Beck Disease (KBD), to find sustainable solutions and to implement appropriate programs in order to prevent the disease and protect the next generations living in endemic areas, mainly in the Tibetan Plateau, of contracting the disease.


The project started thanks to the NGO Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in 1992. In 2002, when MSF withdraw from T.A.R., Kashin-Beck Disease Fund (KBDF) was created to continue the project. Today, the organization works in more than 100 villages, including 25.000 people with 5.000 children. Kashin-Beck disease (KBD), also called “Big Bone Disease”, is one of the most neglected diseases. It is a permanent and disabling osteoarticular disease which destroys cartilages and causes joints deformation, stunted growth and chronical pain. First signs appear around the age of 4-5 and manifesting, in the most severe cases, as dwarfism. It’s a lifetime physical handicap.

Nowadays, no treatment exists and KBD causes remain unclear. However, everyone agree to affirm that its origin is multifactorial and linked to the environment. Some of the risk factors has been already identified such as a multi nutrients and vitamins deficiency and the fungal contamination of the grains.

KBDF focuses on two main activities: the research of the causes of the disease and the implementation of prevention measures following the results obtained. KBDF implements, in endemic areas, sustainable and appropriate prevention solutions divided in several programs:

  • Children Nutrition Program (CNP): Consultations are organized to monitor children growth and distribute vitamin D and calcium carbonate supplementation to these children. Vitamin D is also given to lactating mothers and pregnant women.

  • Food Diversification Program (FDP): To diversify and improve villagers and especially children’s diet, activities to provide fresh vegetable (greenhouses & seedbanks), fruits (orchard) and more lipids (rape oil) are implemented.

  • Mycology Program: Fungal contamination is one of the etiological hypothesis of KBD and make barley, main food of theses populations, not edible. To avoid it, KBDF implements solutions to disinfect grain before planting, and to insure a better drying and storage of the harvested grain.

  • Waste Management Program: It is not directly linked with the disease, but it contributes to improve diverse public health issues in villages, where the concept of waste management was totally unknown. KBDF tries to make villagers understand the importance of the selective sorting by building garbage collecting centres.

  • Training Program: KBDF organizes training sessions about nutrition, health, greenhouse/seedbank management…, topics directly or indirectly linked with the project, in order to make other programs efficient and sustainable.

Concrete needs

Financial support:

  • Construction of greenhouses: 60.000 €/year/200 greenhouses

  • Provision of Vit D and calcium carbonate: 12.000€/year

  • Vegetable seeds: 10.000€/year

  • Oil pressing machines: 12.000€/year (5 pieces)

Volunteers in Belgium

  • Fundraising
  • Translations: french-dutch, english-chinese


Release by Donorinfo - Last modification : 29/06/2017