China cuts childbirth mortality rate by promoting hospital births

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China has slashed the death rate of newborn babies by almost two-thirds in 12 years by promoting hospital births ...

Deaths fell from 24.7 per 1,000 live births in 1996 to 9.3 in 2008. Only half of women gave birth in hospital at the start of that period, whereas by the end almost all did so outside the most deprived rural areas.

... "It's a combination of strengthening facilities, training providers, equipping them with the skills and drugs to offer better care – and, through insurance, encouraging families to give birth in hospitals.

There was still some disparity, with babies in poorer areas four times as likely to die as in wealthier urban areas – apparently reflecting poorer quality services in township hospitals.

"In urban China, babies born in hospital have a very low newborn mortality rate of 5 per 1,000, almost that of the UK, which is 3 to 4 per 1,000," ...

... It is also on course to reduce the maternal mortality ratio by three-quarters ...

... the figure [maternal mortality] had fallen from 34.2 per 100,000 to 30 out of 100,000 last year ...

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