120 mn women annually get free contraceptives in China

July 11th, 2008 - 11:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Tianjin (China), July 11 (Xinhua) China provides free contraceptives to nearly 120 million women in rural areas every year, a senior family planning official said Friday, hailing the country’s family planning measures that helped bring the population growth under control. The measures also helped reduce the risks associated with pregnancy and improve the sexual health of women across the country, Li Bin, head of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, said in his keynote speech at a conference marking the World Population Day Friday.

“The government has made the focus of its family planning policy to promote reproductive health in recent years,” he said.

“Family planning service stations across the country have taken up the responsibility to provide the knowledge and free or low-cost services on reproduction health.”

Since 2001, the focus has been on protecting people’s health rather than limiting the population, and progress has been made in consultation, regular check-ups and psychological treatment for pregnant women, the official added.

Pre-birth medical examination and intervention has helped increase the healthiness of pregnant women and their newborn children, Li said.

According to figures from the commission, about 84.6 percent of women of child-bearing age in China use contraceptive measures to prevent unintended pregnancies, and the death rate in pregnancy has dropped from 53 per 100,000 women in 2000 to 36.6 per 100,000 last year.

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