The Ministry of Health has said the number of Chinese infants suffering from kidney stones caused by contaminated milk powder has risen to 1,253 with two dead as of 8 a.m. on Monday. It revealed most of the cases occurred in Hebei, Jiangsu and Gansu provinces.
The Health Ministry said at a press conference that 53 of the babies are in critical condition while another 340 are receiving hospital treatment. The remaining 913 diagnosed with light symptoms are either receiving treatment outside hospital or have recovered.
Vice health minister Ma Xiaowei said special hospitals had been appointed nationwide to launch treatment for all the infants affected by kidney stones.
Ma Xiaowei, Vice Health Minister said "With scientific, timely and effective treatment, we will try our best to avoid further deaths."
Experts from the Chinese Medical Association predicted there would be no permanent damage to the children's kidney functions if they received the proper treatment.
To avoid incisions to the children's skin and minimize after effects, the ministry urged health organizations nationwide to avoid radiotherapy, anesthesia and surgery during treatment.
Wang Yu, Director of Health Ministry of Medical Administration Department said "We have no problem with hospitals, experts or equipment. China's medical ability is enough for the treatment of kidney stones."
Ma said the ministry had also sent medical workers to remote counties and villages for inspections and treatments. The ministry said the milk powder case is a food safety accident, and all infants involved would be compensated accordingly following the investigation.
(China Daily September 16, 2008)