In Brief

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 January, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 January, 2007, 12:00am

discrimination against lepers targeted by beijing

The central government marked World Leprosy Day on Sunday by pledging 220 million yuan to build new leprosy hospitals and renovate existing facilities. There were about 6,300 leprosy patients on the mainland, mostly in southern and western provinces such as Yunnan , Guizhou and Tibet , and the number was growing by 1,600 a year, Xinhua reported. Children account for 2.1 per cent of new cases. Eradicating discrimination against the millennia-old disease was this year's theme. The government also vowed to introduce an education campaign to prevent and control the disease, and to wipe out the disease in Anhui and Qinghai by next year and in Chongqing , Guangdong and Shaanxi by 2010.Ng Tze-wei