10 Chinese schools found to have fed kids illegal prescription meds

By Rebecca Unsworth, March 26, 2014

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Angry parents protested outside of a kindergarten in Gansu province yesterday afternoon, after it became the latest school found to be feeding pupils illegal prescription drugs.

Litian kindergarten in the Qilihe district of Lanzhou joined nine other schools allegedly giving pupils medicine without parental consent to improve attendance and performance. This latest development comes after the government last week launched a "blanket inspection" of all kindergartens, primary and middle schools, after more than 500 parents complained that their children had been fed prescription drugs.

Litian kindergarten gave pupils antiviral ribavirin last October, Xinhua reports, after a child developed a form of foot and mouth disease, in hopes of stopping the spread of infection. According to the principal, the children were treated twice with the drug over a three day period.

Parents report that their children suffered possible adverse side effects to the drug including diarrhoea, sweating, skin rashes and leg pains ."The parents are demanding an investigation into what medicine their children were given and how many times drugs were administered", SCMP reports.

According to Wei Lihong, a deputy government head in the district, an investigation is under way and any criminal activity will be punished.

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