Health

Health

Cancer patients suffer brunt of new experimental drug law in China
After Wu Xianfa was diagnosed with lung cancer last year, he had surgery to remove part of his lower left lung. When his doctor recommended chemotherapy to wipe out any remaining cancer cells, Wu refused. Colleagues who had also had lung cancer had died after getting chemotherapy straight after surgery. Following a friend’s recommendation, the 50-year-old from Shanghai started taking an experimental drug. He signed an agreement with Shanghai Spark Pharmaceutical in April last year to join its trial – and says it has been a boon to his health. “I get no other treatments besides the drug,” Wu says. “I get regular checks at hospitals and send the reports about my cancer index and other medical
Cancer patients suffer brunt of new experimental drug law in China
Fighting for HIV drug access in China
China Aids Walk is the nation’s largest awareness and fundraising event focusing on HIV discrimination. Since 2012, people from a wide range of backgrounds have been invited to take part in the event at China’s Great Wall. The event aims to educate the public about HIV, advocate for equal rights for those infected with the virus and raise funds for communities affected by the disease. The group also organizes walking events in six other Chinese cities, drawing in more than 4,000 participants. Martin Yang, director of China Aids Walk, spoke to us about the goals of the organization.
Fighting for HIV drug access in China
Why China’s cancer patients have great sympathy for convicted ‘drug god’
Zhai Yiping clearly broke the law. But is what he did wrong? The question has been raised as part of a discussion of China’s health care system after Zhai was punished for selling foreign drugs to cancer patients in a country where those medications are unavailable or expensive. After being diagnosed with liver cancer in 2014, Zhai devoured news of the latest cancer drugs released around the world. In 2016, he found two new overseas medicines that were more effective than similar medications in China and cost less.  Zhai spread the news to other patients in China and, eventually, the demand became so high that he started to smuggle these drugs from Germany. He charged a 5% markup. He would b
 Why China’s cancer patients have great sympathy for convicted ‘drug god’
Chinese man contracts bubonic plague after eating wild rabbit
A man from Inner Mongolia, in northern China, has contracted the bubonic plague after eating a wild rabbit, the local health authority said on Sunday.  The diagnosis came less than a week after two other people from the region were reported to have fallen ill with the pneumonic form of the disease. Plague, which comes in three strains – bubonic, pneumonic and septicaemic – is categorized as the most severe contagious disease in China due to its high infection and mortality rates. The latest victim is a 55-year-old man who was not named. He caught and ate the rabbit on November 5 and appeared unaffected for more than a week. However, on Saturday he fell ill with a fever and went to the hospit
Chinese man contracts bubonic plague after eating wild rabbit
Chinese city passes landmark law to promote breastfeeding
A megacity in south China has become the first in the country to pass a law promoting breastfeeding, which remains unpopular despite the myriad proven benefits of human milk. The law, passed in Guangzhou, requires public places such as train stations, museums and parks to set up dedicated lactation rooms, or face fines. Employers must provide breastfeeding mothers with a one-hour daily break to feed or pump. It also bans hospitals and medical institutions from taking money from or collaborating with formula makers. But the law doesn’t ban formula companies from advertising. Currently, only 29% of Chinese mothers are exclusively breastfeeding their babies under six months of age, compared to
Chinese city passes landmark law to promote breastfeeding
Hong Kong to ban diesel and gas cars in 20 years
Hong Kong plans to phase out all fossil fuel vehicles over the next 10 to 20 years and switch to electric modes of commercial and public transport to improve air quality, according to the city’s environment chief. Roadside pollution remains a major concern in Hong Kong, which has one of the world’s highest population and traffic densities. The government’s push could potentially accelerate electric vehicle adoption in the small and wealthy financial hub, which has already seen EV sales grow a hundredfold in less than a decade.  As of August, there were 12,195 electric vehicles approved for road use in Hong Kong, up from fewer than 100 at the end of 2010. Today, EVs make up about 1.8% of priv
Hong Kong to ban diesel and gas cars in 20 years
Doctor says 67-year-old mother in China conceived naturally
A woman reported to be China’s oldest mother gave birth last week at the age of 67. If the claim is substantiated, the woman, surnamed Tian, would have overtaken the previous record held by a woman who gave birth at the age of 64 in 2016. But that woman, from the northern Chinese province of Jilin, reportedly conceived her child from in vitro fertilization. It was not known whether she had used her own eggs or eggs from a donor. Celebrities such as Janet Jackson and Brigitte Nielsen have made headlines for giving birth in their early 50s, around the average age of menopause. Nielsen reportedly said she had frozen her eggs.  What’s unusual about Tian, a retired nurse from the eastern provin
Doctor says 67-year-old mother in China conceived naturally
Trying for a baby? Study finds pollution is linked to miscarriages
Air pollution doesn’t just damage people’s lungs. Breathing in polluted air is linked to a greater risk of miscarriages, according to a new study. The research by Chinese scientists, published on Monday in the journal Nature Sustainability, examined data from more than 255,000 pregnant women living in Beijing over an eight-year period. Researchers found a significant correlation between pollution levels and “missed abortions” in the first trimester, a common form of miscarriage that can go undiagnosed for weeks.  The risk of such a miscarriage, where a fetus or embryo will stop developing, increases sharply with higher concentrations of air pollutants, they found. The findings add to a growi
Trying for a baby? Study finds pollution is linked to miscarriages
Chinese pork farmers see no end in sight for swine fever
Pork is a Chinese national staple. But as African swine fever has ravaged hog farms, the average price of pork has almost doubled. The government has responded by releasing pork reserves to the markets and offering subsidies to some farmers hit by the nationwide epidemic.  Some farmers, however, are still feeling the pain.
Chinese pork farmers see no end in sight for swine fever
Breast cancer survivor on folly of ‘Asian way’ of hiding illnesses
Last October Hong Kong-born Kim Li could not have anticipated how her world would be turned upside down when her 14-year-old daughter came home from school in tears, having discovered her school friend had just found a lump in her breast. Li, a former science teacher in Hong Kong now teaching in Britain, was used to dealing with teenage upsets. But as she tried to comfort her daughter, Priya, she couldn’t shake the nagging worry about the lump in her own breast, which she had been ignoring for over a month. That same evening, Li asked her physician husband to feel the lump. After he felt it, her husband became quiet. He turned off the light and said: “We need to ring the GP [general practiti
Breast cancer survivor on folly of ‘Asian way’ of hiding illnesses