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Mortality rate decreases among children

THE mortality rate of children below the age of five was 6.2 per 1,000 in the city last year, a drop from 7.6 per 1,000 in 2007. Children without a hukou, or permanent residency permit, accounted for 62 percent of last year's deaths, the Shanghai Health Bureau said at a working conference yesterday.

The top five causes of death for children below five were congenital heart disease, premature or low birth weight, other congenital deformities, newborn suffocation and drowning.

The bureau announced this year's plan to further health reform. It includes speeding up information technology projects such as a health database and a vaccination system.

Some 107,000 people with permanent residency in the city died last year for a rate of 7.73 per 1,000, higher than the 7.44 in 2007. Cerebral and cardiovascular diseases, tumors and respiratory system diseases were the city's top killers.

"Prevention and control of congenital deformities and chronic diseases are among our key public health tasks this year," said Xu Jianguang, director of the Shanghai Health Bureau. "The city has been focused on bettering premarital checkups and prenatal care to improve the quality of newborn babies and control congenital deformities."

The bureau reported 4,316 congenital deformity cases last year for a rate of 7.69 per 1,000, 13.2 percent lower than in 2007.

The top five congenital deformities among local babies born in the city last year were heart disease, extra fingers, ear disfigurement, urinary tract abnormalities and cleft lips.


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