Funding call for research

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 September, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 September, 1993, 12:00am

MEDICAL experts have called for more government funding for biomedical research.

Professor Joseph Lee Chuen-kwun of the Chinese University said existing research relied greatly on private donations because of insufficient government support.

''The Research Grants Council has been supporting biomedical projects since 1989, but the amount is too little,'' he said.

Professor Lee was speaking at the conference organised by the Oxford International Biomedical Centre (OIBC) yesterday.

OIBC chairman, Professor Charles Pasternak, supported the call.

''Biomedical research can be seen as a form of investment which yields high profit, because it is the future society which will benefit,'' he said.

Biomedicine is a relatively new science, particularly successful in its application in cancer and AIDS research.

Hong Kong parents were meanwhile accused of failing to vaccinate their children against measles.

Hong Kong's Unicef officer yesterday released a report, The Progress of Nations, which revealed a 38 per cent fall in measles vaccinations from 80 per cent in 1985 to 42 per cent in 1991.

Matthew Mo Nam-kit, Hong Kong Unicef senior operation's manager, said parents were more likely to immunise their children against polio.

''In some countries they think measles is serious but obviously not in Hong Kong,'' Mr Mo said.

But Hong Kong Medical Association spokesman Dr Lee Kin-hung disputed the figures. He claimed that the Chinese were better educated on health than in the past.

Yesterday's report, the first of its kind, revealed that seven out of 1,000 Hong Kong children died before their fifth birthday. The figures compared with 43 per 1,000 in China.