HIV Cases Cause Concern

The Ministry of Health and local governments have taken immediate measures to check the rampant spread of the AIDS/HIV virus in Wenlou Village of Central China's Henan Province.

Illegal blood-collecting centres have been closed in order to reduce the spread of the virus, according to the Beijing-based People's Daily.

Clinics have been set up in Wenlou Village to provide free medical treatment to local patients, using financial allocations by governments of all levels.

Doctors from major county hospitals are working round-the-clock to observe possible cases.

The Ministry of Health is now working closely with local governments to further carry out the treatment plan while exploring more effective means of coping with the urgent situation.

A special mission led by Vice-Minister of Health Yin Dakui visited local hospitals and clinics, paying attention to medicine storage and the sterilization of disposable injection devices.

They also brought the villagers daily necessities such as flour and quilts. Relief funds have been distributed to the impoverished villagers.

Yin promised to make every effort to minimize the lost and pain of the victims and their relatives. He has also encouraged the villagers and the local governments to work together in fighting the onslaught of the disease.

To ease public anxiety and panic, lectures on the prevention of the disease are given by specialists using common language. Some methods adopted by foreign governments in fighting the epidemics have been introduced as well.

Profit-driven illegal blood-collecting centres have mushroomed in some rural areas of Henan Province since the 1990s.

Without proper blood-collecting measures and devices, the health of the paid donors could not be guaranteed.

Over the years, the practice has led to the spread of AIDS and HIV among blood plasma donors ignorant of the risks involved. Wenlou Village has been one of the country's most seriously affected areas.

(China Daily 08/11/2001)

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