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[China-health]Pregnant women to receive improved access to services[Page:1]

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A nurse checks a pregnant woman at a hospital in Xiangyang, Hubei province, on Saturday.[Photo by Gong Bo/For China Daily]
Maternal mortality in China slightly above US, but far lower than other developing countries
China's top health authority will take steps in the next few years to improve maternal health, as mortality rates have risen following the adoption of the universal second-child policy in January.
The National Health and Family Planning Commission said that 89,000 obstetrics beds will be added to hospitals across China, and local health authorities will be guided to optimize their resources.
The commission will also help local authorities improve their ability to save pregnant women and newborn babies in critical condition, and better equip hospital obstetrics and pediatrics departments to deal with emergencies, the commission said.
The commission will select some national training bases for midwifery techniques and organize emergency training to help pregnant women in critical condition. The commission will cooperate with other departments in the training of obstetricians and midwives, aiming to produce 140,000 more in the next few years, it said.
More than 8.3 million babies were born in the first half of the year in China.
The maternal mortality rate in China in the first half of the year was 183 deaths per 1 million population, a rise of more than 30 percent over the same period last year, the commission said.
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