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China’s maternal death rate drops 75% in past 20 years

Updated: Jun 11,2015 7:51 AM     Xinhua

China’s maternal mortality rate has shrunk by 75 percent over the last 25 years, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) on June 10.

Maternal death rate was 21.7 per 100,000 in 2014, compared with 88.8 per 100,000 in 1990, a 75.6 percent drop.

That meets the Millennium Development Goal one year ahead of the deadline. Under the goals adopted by the United Nations in 2000, nations are expected to cut maternal mortality by three-quarters by 2015.

The commission attributed the decrease a more equitable medical care and allowances provided for rural women to give birth in hospitals.

Hospital delivery rate in rural families was merely 36.4 percent in 1990, while in 2014, the rate has increased to 99.6 percent.

The NHFPC said in 2014 the infant death rate and mortality for children under five dropped to 8.9 per thousand and 11.7 per thousand, respectively, seven years ahead of the Millennium Development Goals deadline.

Health authorities have also reduced the birth defect rate by providing free pre-pregnancy check-ups and medical care. For example, through intervention therapy, HIV mother-to-child transmission reduced from a previous 34.8 percent to 6.1 percent in 2014, preventing 6,890 children from being infected.

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