The Chinese government is sending a medical team to the region devastated by last month’s earthquake to reverse sterilisations carried out on parents who have lost children, so that they can attempt to have another child. The announcement came last week as a growing number of parents in the quake zone demanded an explanation for the collapse of so many schools and the deaths of thousands of children. Many believe that corruption in local government led to shoddy construction.

The medical team will also provide free counselling, guidance, surgery, and the implementation of artificial reproduction technology, for those who wish to have another child. Under China's one child policy, parents who lose a child or have a disabled child are allowed to have a second baby. The Sichuan provincial Population and Family Planning Commission estimated about 7,000 dead and 16,000 injured were the only children of their families. ~ Reuters Health, June 6 

Beijing has also announced nationwide safety checks for schools from kindergartens through to university complexes. It says potentially dangerous buildings must not be used any longer and a database must be set up for future research. Lin Qiang, vice-inspector of the Sichuan provincial educational department, said last month that collapsed buildings might have been more solid “if we educational officials hadn’t left loopholes for corruption”. ~ Reuters, June 11

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....