A Hepatitis B virus (HBV) carrier in Nanjing was finally granted a health certificate on Wednesday, allowing her to be employed in the food industry.
Wednesday afternoon, officials from the health bureau of Xuanwu district, Nanjing, held a press conference and announced they had given an HBV carrier a health certificate, and promised to give fair treatment to the city's health certificate applicants who carry HBV.
Meanwhile, Nanjing government officials also planned to set up the city's own regulations for people working in the food industry in accordance with the central government's latest revision toward HBV carriers in July. Earlier, China issued the Food Safety Law revision, which lifted the ban on HBV carriers working in the food sector.
This marks a further step by the provincial government to implement the new food regulations and grant HBV carriers a fair chance for employment in food industry.
The certificate recipient, surnamed Chen, is a senior student from a university in Nanjing, who is majoring in animal and veterinary science. However, being a HBV carrier, Chen finds she is rejected by many employers in the food industry.
"Actually, an HBV carrier doesn't spread the virus through superficial contact. Only through sex and blood will the virus be transmitted," Chen said. However, massive discrimination in China still is carried out against HBV carriers like her, she said.
"Getting a health certificate doesn't mean I will find a job in food industry, but it's an effort to tell the public it's safe and legal for HBV carriers to work in the food sector," Chen said.
Seven days after a routine blood test, Chen received a notice from the center saying that because of her health situation, she was not eligible to get a health certificate.
Chen argued with the officials from the center, telling them Lei's story. One hour later, Chen was told she could get her certificate the next morning, or Sept 15.
Fortunately, her insistence and a report from a local news paper secured her the certificate.
"This is a delayed green light, but it's worth my wait. I hope thousands of other HBV carriers can see they will be fairly treated from now on," Chen said.
(China Daily September 17, 2009)