China asks provinces to set up hotlines for sick babies

September 20th, 2008 - 4:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Sep 20 (Xinhua) China Saturday asked all provincial governments to immediately set up hotlines to help people access proper medical facility for treatment of babies taken ill after drinking tainted milk powder in the wake of a baby food scandal that shook the nation.At least four babies died and more than 6,000 infants developed kidney stones after drinking baby formula tainted with melamine, an industrial chemical used in fertilisers, plastics and dyes.

To date, eight provinces and municipalities had set up such lines.

The health ministry circular asked provinces which have already established helplines to strengthen the service according to the local situation and guide people to hospitals for diagnosis and treatment.

Meanwhile, Han Zhuosheng, general representative of the WTO office in China, said the UN agency was willing to provide all necessary technical support.

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