China Daily (Beijing) (05.24.12)
New Ministry of Health guidelines allowing individuals with hepatitis B virus to work in kindergartens and child-care facilities should help reduce HBV-related discrimination in China, said the head of liver research at Beijing Friendship Hospital. “The revision is a symbol of a rising awareness of the blood-borne infectious disease” in a country with 93 million carriers, said Jia Jidong.
Most Chinese children age six and younger have been vaccinated against HBV under a policy in effect since 2002. Hospitals and physical examination facilities cannot conduct HBV screening tests for the purposes of school and kindergarten enrollment and employment, according to Wang Zhao, vice president of the China Foundation for Hepatitis Prevention and Control.
Yet some Chinese remain concerned about HBV transmission when it comes to jobs dealing with children. “Children are vulnerable, and I would prefer that completely healthy teachers take care of them,” said Zhao Min, a Beijing business manager.
Yang Lijing, curriculum director at Beijing’s private Fortune Fountain Kindergarten, said that though her school currently requires HBV screening for prospective staffers, she will follow the new guidelines. “But it may cause parents’ concern about their children’s health,” she said.