Sunday, 16 November 2014

Leukaemia donations missing | Asthma rates soar | Syphilis rates as high as 44% in sex workers

Leukaemia boy misses out on donations

One of the top stories in the Xinhua news this weekend is the story of a boy from Leshan in Sichuan with leukaemia who has missed out on most of the funds donated by wellwishers for his treatment. The family of the 8-year-oldcalled Lin Zhouzheng appealed for help in paying several hundred thousand yuan in medical bills after they ran out of money and even sold their house to pay for chemotherapy for their son. They were approached by a local man called Xu Ping who mounted a major publicity drive to raise money, and this netted more than 100,000 yuan. However, to date the boy's family have only received 7,000 in money from all the fundraising despite taking part in many media interviews, publicity appearances and having an army of volunteers working under Xu Ping. However, Xu Ping told reporters that the 110,000 yuan raised had only been pledges rather than actual donations - and he was still working to get companies and individuals to make good on their pledges.

Asthma rates soar in Shanghai

Asthma rates in Shanghai have increased four-fold over the last 15 years, with pollution being given much of the blame. A study of more than 27,000 residents of Pudong found that the prevalence of asthma was 1.4%, markedly higher than the 0.4% rate seen in the last major study carried out in 1997. Researchers from the Department of Respiratory Medicine at the Shanghai Putuo District People's Hospital carried out further pulmonary tests on 428 people with asthma and found that 53% had an FEV below 80% of normal and the severity of impaired lung function increased with age. The main triggers for asthma were dust exposure, cold air and respiratory tract infections.

STDs rates high in Jiangxi sex workers

More than 40% of female sex workers in Jiangxi have syphilis, a study has found. Researchers from the Department of Dermatology and STDs at the Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University tested 361 street-based female sex workers and found that 44% had syphilis infection. About half of the sex workers had little education, a high proportion had been sex workers for several years and many failed to use condoms consistently. "Comprehensive interventions targeting this high-risk group, especially scaling up screening and ensuring consistent use of condoms during sex are needed," the researchers suggested.

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