Tue, September 16, 2008
China > Mainland

China pledges to treat all affected babies

2008-09-16 05:31:49 GMT2008-09-16 13:31:49 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English

Parents take their children, who took Sanlu milk powder, to Nanjing Children's Hospital for medical treatment and checkup in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, September 14, 2008. From September 13, the hospital set up a special team made up of experts to treat the babies suffering from kidney stones after taking tainted Sanlu milk powder.

A baby suffering from kidney stones receives medical treatment at a hospital in Lanzhou, capital of northwest China's Gansu Province, September 14, 2008. [CFP]

Two babies with kidney stones receive medical treatment at a military hospital in Lanzhou, capital of northwest China's Gansu Province, Sept. 11, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)

BEIJING, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- China's Health Ministry pledges free health care for all babies sickened after drinking contaminated formula.

Deputy Health Minister, Ma Xiaowei, said all medical agencies should prepare to treat babies for kidney stones as more cases could be uncovered as the investigation continues.

He ordered all public health authorities and medical institutions give priority to the diagnosis of suspect cases and provide treatment.

"Hospitals should try their best to meet rising demands for diagnosis and treatment because the number of parents who take their children for medical check-ups could rise drastically in the future," Ma told health, finance and food safety officials throughout China via teleconference Tuesday.

All infants who had been fed with Sanlu milk powder for between three and six months in the past year and have shown symptoms of kidney stones should be treated with top priority, added Ma.

An estimated 1,253 babies developed kidney stones after drinking the tainted milk powder. Two died as a result.

China's dairy giant, Sanlu Group, which is at the heart of the toxic food scandal, apologized to the public for its contaminated milk powder.

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