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2 young melamine victims set for surgery

TWO victims of the milk scandal were awaiting surgery at Fudan University's Children's Hospital in Shanghai last night to remove kidney stones detected in a large-scale screening last September.

Their medical costs are expected to be covered by a compensation fund set up for babies sickened by formula contaminated with melamine, an industrial chemical.

China's top quality agency yesterday confirmed that it found no melamine in baby formula produced at Dumex Baby Food Co in the city.

Tainted formula produced by Sanlu Group and 21 other Chinese dairy makers has been linked to the deaths of at least six children and kidney and urinary tract problems in nearly 300,000 others.

The diary makers have been ordered to provide compensation to the victims.

Authorities screened more than 100,000 infants in the city after the scandal erupted. Around 2,700 were found to have kidney or urinary tract problems, and 50 were hospitalized and later released.

Health officials said there are now only five significant cases locally, including the two set for operations.

A diagnostic group made up of leading pediatricians yesterday confirmed that those infants require operations because their stones may block their urinary tracts if they are not removed. A date for the surgery was not set.

The other three targeted infants are receiving outpatient checkups at Shanghai Children's Medical Center.

"Two cases don't need surgery but just regular observation by our doctors, and one needs surgery to treat a congenital urinary deformity," said Dr Zhou Wei of the pediatric renal department at the medical center.


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