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Child mortality rate points to challenges facing rural healthcare

[ 2011-09-22 10:49]     字号 [] [] []  
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Almost 300,000 children younger than 5 die every year on the Chinese mainland, with more than 36 percent dying at home with poor access to healthcare, official statistics show.

The Report on Women and Children's Health Development, which was released on Wednesday by the Ministry of Health, lists five main causes of child mortality, including premature birth, congenital heart disease and accidental asphyxia.

"China still faces daunting challenges to further reduce the sheer number of child deaths and to better address health equality," said Qin Huaijin, director of maternal and child healthcare for the ministry.

By 2010, the mortality rate of under 5-year-olds was 1.64 percent, down 73.1 percent and 58.7 percent from 1991 and 2000, said Qin, who put the change down to continuous efforts by the government to improve children's health.

Wen Chunmei, program officer at World Health Organization's Representative China Office, said China ranks fifth for mortality among under-5s due to its massive population.

He urged the government to allocate more resources to intervention programs, which remain limited, particularly in rural areas.

According to the health report, almost 12 percent of Chinese children who die before the age of 5 do not receive any medical treatment due to multiple factors, such as finances, transport and the health awareness of parents.

The gap between urban and rural areas has gradually narrowed in recent years, but it is still distinct, Qin said.

Last year, 7.3 children in every 1,000 died before the age of 5 in urban areas, while in rural areas it was 20.1. The figures represented a drop of 47.1 percent and 56 percent from 2000, according to the health report.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Child mortality rate points to challenges facing rural healthcare

About the broadcaster:

Child mortality rate points to challenges facing rural healthcare

Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is also fluent in Korean.