China releases five-year plan for enhanced birth defect prevention

Updated: Aug 26, 2023 Xinhua Print
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A nurse takes care of a newborn baby at Gansu Provincial Maternity and Childcare Hospital in Lanzhou. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING - China's National Health Commission has released a five-year plan aimed at more efficient prevention and control of birth defects and reducing the incidence of birth defect-related fatalities and disabilities.

According to the plan, the rate of prenatal screening in China is expected to reach at least 90 percent by 2027, while the mortality rates of infants and children under five due to birth defects will be below 0.1 percent and 0.11 percent, respectively.

The plan also called for improvement in preventing and treating major birth defects such as severe congenital heart disease, Down Syndrome, and thalassemia major.

By 2027, the diagnosis and treatment rates of inherited metabolic diseases such as phenylketonuria and congenital hypothyroidism within two weeks after birth are expected to reach 90 percent. The diagnosis rate of congenital hearing loss within three months and intervention rate within six months after birth are expected to both reach 90 percent, according to the plan.

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