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China issues white paper on public health

Updated: Sep 29,2017 2:52 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — The Chinese government on Sept 29 published a white paper on public health, stressing that health is a precondition for the survival of humanity and the development of human society.

The white paper, released by the State Council Information Office, introduced facts about the development of public health as an essential element of human rights in China.

The right to health is a basic human right rich in connotations. It is the guarantee for a life with dignity, according to the white paper.

Everyone is entitled to the highest standard of health, equally available and accessible, it said.

The Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese government have always focused on the people’s needs while seeking the development of the nation, it said.

Putting the people first, the Party and the government work to fulfill the people’s aspiration for a better life, and strive to enhance the people’s well-being and all-around development. China has always put the people’s health at the top of its policy agenda, working hard to improve the people’s health and fitness, and making universal health and fitness a primary goal of development.

With years of strenuous effort, China has made continued improvement in boosting the overall strength of its public health and medical services, and in enhancing the physical fitness and health conditions of its people. China has been hailed as a “role model for developing countries” by the World Health Organization (WHO) in recognition of its achievements.

Prosperity for all is impossible without health for all. Health for all is a solemn promise to the people by the CPC and the Chinese government, the white paper said.

Since the Party’s 18th National Congress in November 2012, under the firm leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping at the core, China has given top priority to improving the people’s health, incorporating the development philosophy of innovation, coordination, green development, opening up and shared benefits into the promotion and protection of the people’s right to health, it said.

Focusing on promoting healthy lifestyles, improving health services, enhancing medical security, building a healthy environment and developing the health industry, China is striving to enhance public health and fitness, providing full-life-cycle medical and health services to its people. With improvement in the Chinese people’s right to health, China’s human rights have also seen profound progress.

The average life expectancy of the Chinese rose to 76.5 years in 2016 from 67.9 years in 1981, it said.

Maternal mortality dropped from 88.9 per 100,000 persons in 1990 to 19.9 per 100,000 persons in 2016; and infant mortality declined from 34.7 per 1,000 in 1981 to 7.5 per 1,000 in 2016, figures from the document showed.

In addition, drinking water safety issues in China’s rural areas have been basically solved. From 2006 to 2010, the investment in safe drinking water projects in rural areas reached 105.3 billion yuan ($15.87 billion), providing safe drinking water to 212 million rural residents in 190,000 administrative villages, according to the document.

The coverage of basic public health services in China has been further expanded and the scope of beneficiaries has expanded steadily.

The government has extended free vaccinations from children only to adults and expanded basic public health services to 12 categories that span a person’s life circle, including citizens’ health archives and management, it said.

The maternal and child healthcare service system has been continuously improved, and in 2016, the Chinese government invested 2.9 billion yuan ($436.7 million) to support the construction of 247 city- and county-level maternal and child healthcare institutions, the document said.

China has actively participated in global health governance and international medical assistance while providing medical aid to other countries, and promptly conducts global emergency responses.

It earnestly implements international health conventions and shoulders its international humanitarian responsibilities, the white paper said.

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