China's Efforts to Improve Maternal and Child Health Care and Prevent Birth Defects

Main image to the post China's Efforts to Improve Maternal and Child Health Care and Prevent Birth Defects

In recent years, China has made notable advancements in its maternal and child health care services, specifically focusing on high-risk pregnancies and congenital birth defects. The National Health Commission reported a rise in older mothers and women choosing to have babies later in life, leading to increased proportions of women at an advanced maternal age and those who have given birth previously. As part of efforts to adapt to these demographic shifts, China has implemented improved treatments and screenings to ensure quality care for newborns.

To address the changing landscape of childbirth in the country, China has raised awareness about the importance of early screenings and risk assessments for pregnant women. This includes categorizing and managing pregnant women based on their individual risk levels and creating tailored treatment plans for those in precarious conditions. The establishment of over 3,500 treatment centers for seriously ill pregnant women and 3,320 centers for infants in critical condition nationwide signifies a concerted effort to provide specialized care for pregnant women and newborns.

Authorities in China have also emphasized the prevention of birth defects as a key aspect of their maternal and child health initiatives. This includes implementing nationwide screenings for genetic metabolic diseases, hearing impairments, and other congenital disorders to ensure early detection and intervention. Notably, the mortality rate of infants due to birth defects and children under age 5 has decreased by over 30 percent in the past five years, indicating the effectiveness of these preventive measures.

Furthermore, the country has made strides in improving the accuracy and timeliness of screenings for birth defects to enhance early intervention strategies. Despite the limitations of screening techniques in offering 100 percent accuracy, China has prioritized delivering prompt treatment to newborns identified with congenital disorders to mitigate long-term health impacts. For instance, infants diagnosed with congenital deafness are swiftly provided with cochlear implants to prevent lifelong hearing loss, showcasing the commitment to comprehensive care for children with special needs.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09