Q: How do we prevent and control hand-foot-mouth disease as more people have been infected in China?
A: hand-foot-mouth disease can actually be prevented and cured. Prevention is always better than cure, though. Efforts must be made to maintain cleanliness wherever you live, always washing and sterilizing dishes, toys and other domestic articles for children. Efforts should also be made to wash hands carefully and avoid crowds or other public places with limited air circulation. People should get enough rest and avoid unboiled water. Parents should check their children everyday to see if there are any unusual herpes on their hands, feet or mouth. Body temperature is also an important indicator. Do not hesitate to go to hospital – but avoid crowded ones – if your children have a fever or infection.
Q: How can China smooth the process of organ donations after brain death?
A: A notice issued in April 2011 announced three diagnostic criteria of organ donations in China – brain death by international standards, cardiac death, and both. Take brain death for example, organs can only be removed for donation in China when a patient is declared brain dead after strict medical examinations based on current domestic and international criteria; the patient’s family accept the result, choose to discontinue medical treatment for the patient and agree on organ donations; and the hospital approves the donation.
How to define brain death remains controversial. But one thing is for sure: a patient must not be declared dead merely for the sake of organ donation.
Q: What is the plan of investing in health education?
A: The central government has been very supportive of improving China’s public health literacy. In 2012, it allocated 238 million yuan ($38.21 million) to fund local government programs in this field. Last year, it was 244 million yuan, which we believe will only be higher this year. There is also other funding, at 35 yuan per head, for improving the basic public healthcare services, including health education. We hope it will be a big boost for the health initiative.