China’s Feat in Maternal and Child Survival Rates

Lancet report along with China’s health research institutions and international colleagues from US, UK and Australia have reported on country’s progress with respect to maternal, new-born, child and adolescent health and nutrition since 1949.

Highlights

  • According to Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI), in 70 years China had made a significant  transition from “where survival of women & children was priority” to “where children & adolescents now have similar health profiles to young Australians”.
  • China has progressed by rapid socioeconomic development and reducing poverty. Its capacity for top-down leadership including reorganisation of social health insurance and systematic public health planning has also contributed.

How Population Policy has contributed?

China population policy as well its earlier “one-child policy” has affected its age structure. However, its focus has increased on health of children and young people, which reflects a need to invest in next generation. This scenario was being followed even in Australia.

Key Findings

  • As per study, there was rapid reductions in maternal death ratio 1500 cases per 100,000 births in 1949 to 17.8 cases / 100,000 births in 2019.
  • Infant death rate has decreased from 200 cases / 1000 births in 1949 to 5.6 cases per 1000 births in 2019.

What were the elements of China’s Success?

Elements such as quality antenatal and postnatal care, higher childhood vaccination and good health education in schools have contributed in China’s success.

Concerns

As per the report, China has neglected several conditions such as infertility, advanced maternal age, child protection, stillbirth, mental health, sexual and gender-based violence. It also neglected emerging infectious diseases like COVID-19.

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