Saturday, 15 February 2014

News in brief: Saturday 15 February

China's widespread misuse and overuse of antibiotics needs to be curbed, according to an article published in the BMJ this week. Dr Li Yan who works at Nottingham Trent University in the UK, writes that pressure from patients and perverse financial incentives are just two of many factors that have contributed a high rate of antibiotic use that is ten times higher than that of the US. Antibiotic overuse leads to resistance and causes numerous adverse events, she says. New regulations introduced by the Chinese health department need to be fully implemented, she adds, and there also needs to be a major public education campaign to improve awareness about antibiotics and reduce demand, she suggests.

A Hunan official has been found guilty of selling fake medical licences to six "black (bogus) doctors" who had not passed any medical exams. The records department workers sold the medical licences for 45,000 yuan to people who set up private medical clinics and pharmacies. The official was sentenced to eight months in jail and the medical licences were cancelled, Xinhua reports.

Almost 16,600 Chinese people died of infectious diseases in 2013, with HIV being the main cause of death, the National Health and Family Planning Commission has announced. There were more than 6.4 million infectious disease cases reported, of which AIDS, tuberculosis, rabies, hepatitis and hemorrhagic fever were the most deadly diseases, while hepatitis, tuberculosis, syphilis, dysentery and gonorrhea were the most prevalent, ECNS reports.

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