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Expert warns about high birth defection
( 2003-10-29 11:10) (Xinhua)

Every half minute there is one birth defection case occurring in China, but 70 percent of the these tragedies could have been avoided, said a professor at an on- going forum on family planing and birth health held in Dalian, north-eastern China's Liaoning Province.

"Birth defection has become one of the major reasons for birth death and grownup handicap," said Professor Zheng Xiaoying, director in charge of the population institute with Beijing University.

Experts estimate that China has 20 million new births every year but 800,000 to 1 million babies have birth defection.

A survey launched by the Ministry of Health in 1986-1987 showed that the total birth defection rate in the country was 1.301 percent. But experts say the monitoring covered little about rural areas and the diagnosis level was comparatively low, thus the figure might be 4 to 5 percent.

Zheng said inheritance and the environment are the two major reasons for birth defection, but at least 70 percent of birth defection, including Down's syndrome, congenital heart disease and other abnormity of function, could be controlled with the development of medical technologies.

China is now implementing a birth defection intervention program, which covers prevention and treatment measures before pregnancy, in pregnancy and after delivery.

Zheng called on people to receive medical examination before marriage, choose the best time for pregnancy, be well prepared for pregnancy and receive examination regularly during pregnancy.

Besides, people should pay attention to food safety and keep away from pollutants as far as possible, said Zheng.

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