China's vice minister of health said on Friday the
government should improve rural sanitation to prevent the spread of
Wang Longde said the waste in less than a third of all
toilets in China's rural areas is properly treated, adding that the
situation is grim.
Many people have been infected after eating fish raised in water
contaminated by human excrement, he said.
"It is urgent for Chinese government to popularize hygienic
practices among rural residents," Wang said.
Wang said the Chinese government has helped peasants
renovate their toilets and build methane tanks.
"It's not a money problem so much as a lack of hygiene
knowledge," said the vice minister.
"This year alone, China has invested 2.5 billion yuan (about
US$325 million) building methane tanks," he said, adding the
government provides a subsidy of 1,000 yuan to each needy
(Xinhua News Agency April 7, 2007)