Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
China to Spend $270 Million to Upgrade Blood Banks
China will spend $270 million to upgrade old blood banks and build new ones in an attempt to assure the safety of the nation's blood supply, Reuters reports. Fourteen companies from China and elsewhere have signed contracts -- worth $47.9 million -- to provide the necessary equipment, according to the People's Daily, the Communist Party paper. The State Development and Planning Commission will contribute slightly more than half of the total bill, with local governments supplying the remainder. After the upgrade, the facilities will have the capability to test for HIV, hepatitis and other bloodborne diseases, a SDPC vice minister said. Chinese officials last year acknowledged that the nation is facing an HIV/AIDS epidemic after reports surfaced about the "rampant spread" of the virus in the rural province of Henan due to unsafe blood collection procedures. Official estimates place the number of Chinese with HIV/AIDS at 600,000, but some officials say that figure could escalate to 10 million by the end of the decade if prevention measures are not instituted (Reuters, 1/31).
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