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Life expectancy in Shanghai rises and infant mortality falls

THE city's residents are living longer, with an average life span of 81.28 years in 2008, a new record for Shanghai after 2007's 81.08 years.

There were 23 maternal deaths last year. That put the city's maternal mortality rate at 12.36 in every 100,000, down from 12.67 in 2007. Infant mortality was 5.61 in every 1,000, down from 5.73 in 2007. The figures were about the same as the average in developed countries, the Shanghai Health Bureau said yesterday.

Last year, the city's 2,723 hospitals offered 152.38 million outpatient and emergency services, 15.29 percent higher than in 2007. Ambulances offered 398,400 services last year, 12.8 percent higher.

The incidence of infectious diseases was 204.73 in every 100,000 people. There were no outbreaks of severe infectious diseases.

The more prevalent infectious diseases in the city were syphilis, gonorrhea, viral hepatitis, tuberculosis and dysentery. There was one death due to the hand, foot and mouth disease.

There were good results in the prevention and control of chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, cancer, children's dental disease and adult blindness.

"In order to improve health care for women and children, the city has built and will further perfect a network of help centers to improve the transportation and treatment of pregnant and postnatal women who fall critically ill," Xu Jianguang, director of the Shanghai Health Bureau, said.

"To improve health care for women and children, we will start to build a Shanghai Maternity and Child Health Center in Putuo District this year to serve as a model for local services."

Officials said the city would enhance its health reforms to offer residents a more convenient, higher quality and more economic health service.

"Renovating the pharmaceutical system and including out-of-town people working in the city in the local medical insurance payment system are on the agenda," Xu said. "The local health-reform plan will be worked out according to the national reform plan, which will be announced soon."


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