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Statement by Ambassador Li Baodong at the Special Event Marking the Publication of Born Too Soon: The Global Action Report on Preterm Birth

2012-05-02 21:30

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am greatly honored to be invited to this special event. At the outset, on behalf of the Chinese government, I wish to extend my congratulations to the World Health Organization on the publication of the Global Action Report on Preterm Birth.

The issue of preterm birth has attracted wide international attention due to its harm on the health of infants and children. It is estimated that, of the 15 million preterm babies born every year, about 1.1 million die prematurely. And according to the Report, with timely prevention and treatment, 75% of these babies could survive. In this sense, the Report is of great value in providing policy guidance and increasing awareness. It is particularly worth mentioning that most of the measures cited in the Report are simple, feasible, economic and effective. The Report is therefore of practical significance especially to developing countries.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Health of women and children is one of the important work of the WHO. China highly values the important role of WHO in global health endeavors, and has fully supported its work. In recent years, under the leadership of Director General Margaret Chan, the WHO has worked vigorously to promote international health cooperation, help countries, developing countries in particular, to improve their public health systems, and has thus contributed enormously to the achievement of health-related MDGs. The Chinese government highly appreciates these efforts.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Chinese government puts great emphasis on public health. Over more than 30 years of reform and opening-up, China has taken a series of measures to increase financial and human resources input, and engage in international cooperation in public health. As a result, China’s public health and medical conditions have been upgraded significantly, and the health of the Chinese people has been improved continuously. The 12th Five-Year-Plan for the National Economic and Social Development released by the Chinese government last year demonstrated China’s commitment to deepen the reform of its public health system.

Health of women and children has always been a priority for China’s public health endeavors. Thanks to years of efforts, China has formed a solid legal system and sound medical care network according to the Law on Maternal and Infant Health Care. Through various public health services, China remarkably improved the health of newborn babies. It was as early as 2007 that China managed to achieve ahead of schedule the MDG of reducing infant mortality rate. The Programs for the Development of Chinese Women and Children (2011-2020) released not long ago by the Ministry of Health set the goals and specific policy measures for the next decade. I am confident that, with our unremitting efforts as well as relevant international support, China’s health care for women and children will be further improved.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am convinced that the publication and implementation of this Report, as part of the Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, will further promote health of women and children in all countries.

In conclusion, I sincerely wish this special event a complete success. Thank you.

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