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Hotlines cooperate over sex health advice

A CITY hotline for unexpected pregnancies and a youth service hotline are working together from this month to better serve women and girls with sexual health issues.

The unexpected-pregnancies hotline, 6587-6866, handles medical issues while the 12355 youth service number mainly deals with counseling and legal advice.

"We found some callers and some patients that have had abortions suffer severe mental pressure afterwards," said Zhu Weijie, a hospital official. "As a hospital, our staff can only give professional support and medical help. So we asked 12355 for help and received their full support."

Zhu said the hospital's hotline staff will inform callers about the youth service number when it is clear the person is seeking counseling or legal help.

"For those women who get an abortion at our hospital, we will pass their contact information to 12355 staff with the patient's approval," Zhu said. "Psychological and legal professionals will then call these patients to give them regular advice."

The No. 411 Hospital of the People's Liberation Army set up the medical hotline three years ago and has received more than 30,000 calls.

About 45 percent were from students and 31 percent from migrant women. Of the students, 45 percent were from vocational or technical schools, 25 percent from universities, 20 percent from high schools and 10 percent from middle schools.

The hospital has provided abortions for 2,000 girls and young women since mid 2005.

The periods after the summer and winter holidays are usually the busiest time for the hotline.

Officials from the unexpected pregnancies hotline said that many girls and young women had little knowledge of contraception or safe sex.


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