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March 4, 2011

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

City setting records as life expectancy tops 82

THE life expectancy of Shanghai's registered residents exceeded 82 last year, setting a national record, city health officials said yesterday.

The average life expectancy reached 82.13 years, up from the previous year's 81.73, Shanghai Health Bureau reported.

Males can expect to live 79.82 years old, an increase on the previous year's 79.42, while in females the figure is 84.44 years, up from 84.06 in 2009.

The maternal mortality rate in the city stood at 9.61 per 100,000 last year, the same as in 2009 and close to the average in developed countries, local officials said.

Meanwhile, the infant mortality rate dropped to 5.97 per 1,000 from 6.58 in 2009.

Life expectancy, maternal and infant mortality rates are the three major indicators of medical standards and living quality. "These three figures in Shanghai are in line with developed countries," said Song Guofan, a Shanghai Health Bureau official.

Song attributed the rates to improved health care services and medical capability.

The bureau noted that last year's World Expo, which attracted 73 million visitors, was a public health success story. Despite the scale of the six-month event, there were no outbreaks of infectious disease and no drinking water or food poisoning issues.

Shanghai reported 17,780 cases of serious infectious diseases last year, down 14.44 percent on 2009 and the lowest recorded level.

The city also completed a series of national health programs. These included measles vaccinations for 1.79 million children, subsidies towards female farmers' child delivery costs, screening for breast and cervical cancer and hepatitis B vaccinations for people who missed their shots, the bureau said.

In addition, last year Shanghai was the first area in the country to introduce a new training program for doctors. Under the initiative, all new graduates receive professional training at the city's best hospitals. In the past, this would have taken place at their employer's hospitals where standards varied.

Last year also saw the launch of the city's biggest health project. This involves building five city-level hospitals in suburban areas, upgrading three district-level hospitals in the outskirts into city level and relocating a hospital in Jinshan District and upgrading it to city level.

By 2013, this should ensure that residents in rural areas are less than an hour away from a city-level hospital.


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