FUYANG, Anhui: The newly appointed health minister said an "improved local
public health infrastructure" had ensured no epidemics had broken out in the
areas affected by the flooding of the Huaihe River.
Chen Zhu, who is on an inspection tour of Anhui, the most severely flood-hit
area, said: "Medical services, the quality of drinking water and the diets of
rural people have all improved."
He said the new-style rural cooperative medical system will be gradually
extended with the cost mostly covered by the government.
"During the process, a financing system, a supervision system and some
education and training will be needed," Chen said.
Meanwhile, local governments in Anhui are intensifying their efforts in
disease prevention and disaster relief.
The personnel, material and technological preparation for coping with
infectious diseases is in full swing, a local official said.
However, the country's disease prevention situation during the flood season
is still severe.
Last week, an estimated 2 billion rats invaded 22 counties around the
Dongting Lake in Hunan Province and along the Yangtze River, after their homes
on islands in the lake were flooded.
Local authorities are on the alert for a possible disease outbreak caused by
the rat invasion.
(China Daily 07/17/2007 page5)