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October 31, 2013

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Postnatal nursing guidelines issued

ANY mother or baby at a postnatal nursing center thought to have an infectious disease must be reported immediately to health authorities, a new draft guideline states.

This forms part of China’s first guidelines on postnatal centers, issued by experts from the Fudan University’s Gynecology and Obstetrics Hospital in Shanghai.

A powerful Chinese tradition requires new mothers to stay indoors for at least a month and receive a special diet and treatments. A host of postnatal centers have arisen to meet demand but the growing industry is unregulated.

The draft guidelines seek to close loopholes.

The guidelines, announced at the fourth women and children care forum in Shanghai yesterday, also say the nursing centers must introduce stricter policies on staff qualifications and disinfecting.

All items used in child care must be cleaned and disinfected daily, says the draft.

“Since postnatal nursing centers are not considered as health or medical facilities, they only need register with the industrial and commercial administrative bureau, not under regular inspection of any health agency,” said Dr Xu Congjian, president of the gynecology and obstetrics hospital.

“Loopholes create hidden risks to both new mothers and babies. A guideline is vital in regulating the industry.”

In Shanghai, there have been several cases on newborn catching infectious diseases in postnatal nursing centers.

In September, the Baby Garden Nursing Center, where five newborn babies suffered a viral infection, was fined 100,000 yuan (US$16,409).



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