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China:“Too Poor to be sick” (25 Aug 2005)

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In the beginning of the 90 decades, peasants in Henan, Hebei and Anhui sold blood for money to improve their living. Unfortunately, the deals did not extricate them from poverty. Instead, the poor management of the blood station had triggered a massive spread of AIDS.Stepping into the millennium, the number of outbreak and death resulting from AIDs reached its peak in the Henan Province. But the government treated it as a “ national secret ” . Under the pressure of civic organizations and the media, the AIDS villages in Henan were exposed at last.In 2003, China launched a series of policies which included free blood test on a voluntary basis in places where AIDS was rampant; free medication to AIDS patients having financial difficulty; free education to orphans whose parents died of AIDS; free AIDS consultation, test and medication to pregnant women; assistance to AIDS patients and their families.Although the central government has set up policies for the care of AIDS patients, the result is not desirable in rural areas. Many people are not willing to take the China-made cocktail. In some villages, instructors are stationed to give guidance to patients on how to take medication. However, in some under-developed areas, patients are still lacking medical services and living in poverty.On the other hand, many soon-to-be-orphans do not get assistance from the government although they are already affected by their AIDS parents. The orphanage home for these children has a very low occupancy rate. What ’ s worse, grouping these orphans together may cause social discrimination, which in turn affects the healthy development of orphans.In 2004, the central government has increased its allocation of funds to prevent AIDS. International bailout is also on the rise. However, how can these resources be properly used to benefit each and every AIDS patients?

Program: 
Global Aid for AIDS
Publish Date: 
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Station: 
RTHK
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