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China to Launch Epidemic Prevention System in Schools
China will launch an epidemic prevention system in schools, after some problems were highlighted by the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak.

Chinese Minister of Education Zhou Ji spoke during an on-line meeting on Thursday of Chinese teaching staff and educational administrations.

He said that during the SARS outbreak, China adopted effective measures to protect students, with a great contribution by medical schools and campus hospitals.

Scientific researchers had also devoted themselves to the anti-SARS campaign, making a valuable scientific contribution. No large-scale spread of SARS was found in Chinese schools.

He emphasized that educational administrations at all levels should focus on two prominent problems.

The increase of influenza, hepatitis A, and diarrhea in schools had added to the difficulties of epidemic prevention; and of 24 recent food poisoning incidents, 23 had occurred in schools.

Zhou required local educational administrations and schools to draft emergency management plans on epidemic prevention and food poisoning incidents, set up and promote epidemic and safety reporting systems, give regular medical examinations to teaching staff and students, and strengthen supervision and inspection work.

Local administrations should arrange special funds to renovate public health facilities for schools in rural areas, he said.

(Xinhua News Agency June 6, 2003)

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