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Senior Chinese official underscores public health improvement in rural areas
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13:07, September 24, 2007

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Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi said that the government will strengthen the sanitary work in rural areas as a part of the country's public health campaign dating back to 1952.

Wu reiterated a series of measures to be taken to prevent diseases and improve the health condition of people living in the rural areas at a recent meeting on the 55 anniversary of the country's public health campaign.

Domestic waste should be disposed in time and agricultural pollution sources should be closely inspected and carefully handled, said Wu.

The government plans to set up more facilities to secure the safety of drinking water for rural people and to replace those toilets without flushing water, concrete close walls and roofs.

"The toilet rebuilding work is a part of the revolution to change the people's bad habits which lasted for one thousand years," said health minister Chen Zhu.

In 2006, the central government allocated 250 million yuan (about 30 million U.S. dollars) to build one million sanitary toilets.

Wu also stressed the education on rural people's healthy habits in daily life to prevent diseases in rural areas.

"Public health organizations at all levels should strengthen their cooperation and guarantee the running expenses," said Wu.

Started in 1952, the country's public health campaign was initially focused on eliminating "sihai", Chinese words referring to four kinds of baneful insect and animal, fly, mosquito, flea and mouse, and later turned into a long-term campaign to improve public health nationwide.

Source: Xinhua

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