China: 1,000 parents storm town hall in Sichuan over AIDS scare

597 字
2009 年 7 月 18 日 22:16
BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific
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Text of report by Hong Kong Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy on 16 July

[Unattributed report: "Sichuan Uses Shared Needle To Do Blood Tests on Children, 600 May Be Infected With AIDS; 1,000 People Storm Town Government Building"]

Our centre has learned that personnel of the "Chengdu Yizhi Research Institute for Intellectual Development" used the same needle to draw blood for testing from many children, one of whom was an AIDS [virus] carrier, in a cooperative campaign with the government of Jiusicheng Town in Sichuan Province's Xingwen County to test the "blood lead" levels of 600 children at the town. The incident caused panic among the parents and large numbers of them gathered to demonstrate at the Jiusicheng Town Government building on three days from 14 July through this morning. On the evening of 14 July a thousand parents stormed the town government building and clashed with the police and 10 were wounded. The Jiusicheng Town police substation confirmed to us that an AIDS patient was among those who had their blood tested, that the doctor and nurses used a shared needle, and that there was a storming of the town government building by a thousand people.

Our centre has learned that there are an increasing number of children in China with an excessively high lead level in blood because pollution is getting worse there. Since excessively high blood lead adversely affects intelligence, various medical institutions have thought of making money through blood lead examinations. Not long ago the "Chengdu Yizhi Research Institute for Intellectual Development" cooperated with the town government in giving 600 children free "blood lead" examinations and the nurses used the same needle on many children when drawing blood from them at the same time. When they went to inquire about the laboratory test reports on 14 July, the parents learned that a Jiusicheng Town child carrying the AIDS virus also had his blood drawn by personnel of the institute for testing. The incident triggered panic among the parents and more than 1,000 of them stormed the town government building, smashing the office appliances inside and beating the town head. By the small hours of 15 July, Xingwen County sent in 100 public security officers to prevent possible actions by the villagers to set the town government building on fire, etc. The public security officers clashed with the parents, wounding 10 of them. By this morning some of the parents were still demonstrating. The Xingwen County Hospital has today dispatched 10 doctors to do blood tests on the 600 children to determine whether or not they have been infected with the AIDS virus. The Jiusicheng Town police substation confirmed to us that an AIDS [virus] carrier was among the children who had their blood tested and there was already evidence that personnel of the research institute used the same needle to draw blood from several children at the same time; as a result, five relevant personnel of the institute were already put under criminal detention.

China announced that 264,302 AIDS cases were reported by 30 September 2008. The Ministry of Health estimated that China now has about 700,000 AIDS carriers and patients. However, this is only an official estimate and experts estimated that more than 2 million people in China are infected with the disease and the number will likely increase to 5 to 10 million in 10 years.

Source: Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, Hong Kong, in Chinese 16 Jul 09