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China Builds 2,448 Disease Prevention, Control Centers

Chinese government has spent 10.5 billion yuan (US$1.4 billion) in building 2,448 disease prevention and control centers across the country since 2003 and linked them with computer networks, said Chinese Minister of Health Chen Zhu in Beijing Saturday.

"The most visible effect is that we are more capable of monitoring and acting against epidemics," Chen said.

A disease prevention and control center at county level, the lowest level of the network, is able to report a case of serious epidemic like AIDS to the central government through a computer network.

While continuing to improve the network against epidemics, Chinese government plans to pay more attention to daily killers like cardiovascular diseases and metabolic syndrome, Chen said.

Metabolic syndrome is a set of diseases caused by metabolic disorder, including adiposity, diabetes and high blood pressure.

As these diseases become more common, China needs to work out preventive programs to curb their development, Chen said, "or we may see Chinese caught by 'modern diseases' soon after they get rid of malnutrition."

(Xinhua News Agency October 7, 2007)

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