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China invests 1b yuan in rural health care
Updated: 2004-05-23 11:36

China will invest 1 billion yuan (US$121 million) in projects to improve rural public health infrastructure for the country's 800 million rural population, The People's Daily reported on Sunday.

The newspaper said the investment will be the starting capital for those projects, which will be completed in the next three to five years.

The Ministry of Public Health announced the decision by the central government Saturday at a press conference on public procurement, according to the report.

The central government has approved a package of procurement programs worth of 2.073 billion yuan (US$252 million) for the country's public health infrastructure projects, including facilities for emergency public health incidents and local disease control centers, AIDS prevention programs.

China was caught ill-prepared last year in the fight against severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) due to a lack of proper facilities and training.

The central government vowed earlier this year to increase investment in public health projects to meet growing needs and challenges, including AIDS.

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