'Blanket drugs testing' for Chinese schools

By Rebecca Unsworth, March 20, 2014

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The Chinese government has promised "thorough, one-by-one" drugs testing of every kindergarten, primary and middle school in China, after more than 500 parents complained that their children had illegally been fed prescription drugs in order to improve performance.

During the last two weeks, two schools in Jilin and Xi'an were found to be feeding their pupils moroxydine hydrochloride, an antiviral drug designed to stop the spread of flu, after a child revealed to his parent that he had been given a “bitter tablet that took a long time to swallow”. Angry parents stormed the school, complaining that their children were suffering negative side effects, leading to three parents being detained for three days. Administrators in a third school in Yichang, Hubei province also admitted to giving prescription drugs to their pupils.

The government has promised to carry out  "blanket drugs testing" in order to "investigate whether kindergartens are illegally organising the medication of groups of infants". Already, hundreds of children havebeen tested in hospitals, with at least 65 of over 390 children in Xi’an found to be possesing "abnormal results". However, it is impossible to attribute these directly to the drug.

The government promises to report back on findings by  April 15 and severely punish any offenders.

[Image via Flickr]

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