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January 20, 2010

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Health service praised over care in pregnancy

THE maternal mortality rate in Shanghai last year was 9.61 in every 100,000, close to the average in developed countries for the first time, local health officials said yesterday.

The maternal death rate for migrant women dropped from 51.87 in every 100,000 to 10.93 since 2007, Shanghai Health Bureau said.

The figures were released after a panel of experts had appraised the city's three-year action plan from 2007 to 2009 for public health.

The death rate of infants was 6.58 in every 1,000, also in line with developed countries, the panel heard.

Local hospitals dealt with 575 critical cases of pregnant women and 1,598 of newborn babies last year - 96 percent of patients survived.

"Maternal death and infant death are important data showing local people's health level and medical capability," said Xu Jianguang, director of Shanghai Health Bureau.

"Both figures kept falling over the three years. The death rate among migrant pregnant women was always higher than local women due to their poor health awareness and low coverage by the local health care system," Xu said.

Experts from the Ministry of Health praised the city's efforts in ensuring the safety and health of pregnant women and newborn babies.

Under the three-year plan, five treatment centers for critical cases involving pregnant women and six for newborn babies were established.

Twenty-four medical facilities offered cheap maternity and delivery services, greatly reducing the maternal death rate among migrant women.

Dr Hua Jiazeng, a member of the expert panel, said the average standard of maternal death in developed countries was 9 in every 100,000, while it was 400 in every 100,000 in developing countries.


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