Off the wire
Copa Libertadores: Defending champions Atletico Nacional ousted  • Mexico City faces worst air pollution in two decades  • Eating fruit, vegetables secret to looking good: Australian study  • Interview: Slovenia wishes to become major logistic hub of Belt and Road Initiative, says minister  • Xinhua China news advisory -- May 19  • Gold price opens lower in Hong Kong  • Melbourne has longest yet slowest tram network in the world: study  • China treasury bond futures open lower Friday  • Hong Kong stocks open 0.14 pct higher  • Chinese football has bright future, says FIFA official Zhang Jian  
You are here:   Home/ News

China's top health authority urges stronger maternal safety measures

Xinhua, July 14, 2017 Adjust font size:

The state health authority Thursday urged the strengthening of maternal safety to reduce maternal and infant mortality.

At present, and for the foreseeable future, the number of older women becoming pregnant and higher risk pregnancies will continue to increase, according the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC).

According to the commission, 18.46 million babies were born in China last year, an increase of 11.5 percent from 2015. More than 7.4 million babies were born from January to May, up 7.8 percent year on year.

In response to China's rapidly aging population, the country allowed married couples to have two children from 2016, ending the one-child policy implemented decades ago to rein in a surging population.

The commission said 60 percent of women eligible to have a second child are 35 years old or above. The number of older women becoming pregnant will exceed three million each year from 2017 to 2020.

This will result in an increased risk of complications in pregnancy and pose more challenges to obstetric and paediatric services.

"It is an arduous task to guarantee maternal and infant safety," said Ma Xiaowei, deputy head of the NHFPC.

The commission called for stronger measures to guarantee maternal and infant safety, urged comprehensive screening and assessment of gestation period risks, and enhanced management and treatment of higher risk pregnancies.

The next step for the commission is to release a notice to improve maternal safety and launch an action plan.

"We will do whatever we can to guarantee the birth of healthy babies," said Ma.