Sunday, 19 January 2014

China's medical news headlines for Sunday 19 January

Hepatitis B vaccine given the all clear

The Shenzhen Bio Kangtai hepatitis B vaccine that was linked to the deaths of 17 infants has now been given the all clear by the Chinese state drug authorities. After an investigation the China Food and Drug Administration and the National Health and Family Planning Commission said the vaccine could be used again as no problems have been found with the hepatitis B vaccine. Authorities tested more than 1300 vaccine samples from six batches that were under suspicion. According to the People's Daily, the CFDA said all samples met the quality standards. The NHFPC said the 17 infant deaths were due to other problems, including severe pneumonia, kidney failure and suffocation.

In Guizhou, retired doctors asked to work in rural clinics

Retired medical specialists in Guizhou are being urged to lend their expertise to rural area clinics, according to China Daily. Professor Sun Fa of Guiyang Medical University told a meeting of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Committee that there were about 600 retired doctors from the province's five top hospitals of whom half were healthy enough to work in rural clinics.
He said they could help the more than 40,000 medical staff in township clinics, many of whom have only medical qualifications from secondary colleges or no degree at all.

Guangdong plans for baby boom

The new two-child family planning policy will not pose a big challenge to public services such as medical care, a top health and family planning official from Guangdong province has said.
Zhang Feng, the former director of the Guangdong population and family planning commission, said 1.1 million to 1.2 million babies are  born in the province each year. and the new policy will see about 130,000 more babies each year. "The baby boom will bring little social impact," he said at the province's annual legislative meeting.

China's smoking ban is unrealistic, says NBC report

A report by Ed Flanagan of the American NBC News says that the recent anti-smoking measures announced by the Chinese government may be as unsuccessful as previous attempts. The article says China has 350 million smokers and the habit is deeply ingrained in society. Previous attempts to curb smoking resulted in "No Smoking' signs being put up but they were widely ignored, says Flanagan. He says the Chinese media have given no details of how the new policy will be enforced. The move also face resistance from the powerful tobacco industry in China, he adds.

 New Yorker profiles China's gene factory BGI in Shenzhen

The New Yorker has an in-depth profile of the gene factory B.G.I., (Beijing Genomics Institute), which is said to be the world’s largest genetic-research centre, located in Shenzhen. The report by Michael Specter says BGI has 178 machines to sequence DNA, and produces at least a quarter of the world’s genomic data. This could help provide new solutions to disease and other areas such as agriculture, he writes.

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