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China to continue free treatment for milk victims

By : news.xinhuanet.com|Updated: 2009-01-04

(BEIJING) China will continue to provide free treatment to sickened babies in the tainted milk powder scandal, said Mao Qun'an, spokesman of the Ministry of Health on Thursday.

Mao said those who still remained in designated hospitals for having stones in kidney and other parts of urinary system after drinking melamine contaminated milk, will continue to receive free treatment.

"Children under three years old, who had drunk tainted milk and had disease symptoms could still come to local hospitals for check-ups, and would receive free treatment if diagnosed with stones in the urinary system," the spokesman said.

He said that the statistics from hospitals across the country and epidemic sample surveys showed that most of the sickened babies have already been diagnosed and given treatment. There were no new cases reported in majority of areas, and no serious cases were reported.

"This shows that the nationwide screening for sickened children has basically come to an end," he said.

The ministry said that at least one hospital should remain designated for each county-level area to diagnose and treat sickened babies. Children who were diagnosed with serious diseases will receive consultation and guidance from provincial medical experts' committees.

Six babies died and more than 290,000 infants suffered from urinary problems such as kidney stones in the country's tainted dairy scandal which was exposed in September of 2008.

Sanlu, the dairy producer at the center of the scandal, and other 21 firms blamed in the scandal had decided to set up a compensation fund for the victim infants, according to the China Dairy Industry Association (CDIA).