Continuing improvement in health quality of China's population

China Popul Today. 1997 Feb;14(1):17-8.


PIP: This article describes the health of the Chinese population, based on a report presented by the Minister of Public Health at a National Conference on Health Work. China is considered to have a healthier population than the world average. Infant mortality declined from 200/1000 to 31.4/1000 during 1949-95. Maternal mortality declined from 1500/100,000 women to 61.9/100,000 women during the past 45 years. Life expectancy doubled to 70 years. China has 5.37 million medical professionals, 1.22 million country doctors working in 190,000 medical institutions, and 56,000 graduates of 126 medical schools. 92,000 graduated from 551 secondary medical and pharmacy schools. Many infectious and parasitic diseases were eliminated during the 1950s and 1960s. Small pox was eliminated in 1963. Snail fever was reduced considerably and eliminated in 278 out of 391 counties with a high prevalence of this disease. 85% of township children were immunized. Filariasis was eliminated in 1994, and polio was eliminated in 1995. Leprosy is very close to extinction. Infectious diseases declined from 7061/100,000 to 176/100,000 between the 1970s and 1995. Notifiable diseases declined to 176.2/100,000 in 1995. Endemic diseases, such as Kaschin-Beck disease, Keshan disease, goiter, and diseases due to highly fluorinated water, declined. 80% of population had access to iodized salt. Improvements were evident in maternal and child health care and treatment of common gynecological infections. China has 2957 infant-related hospitals out of 7779 worldwide and is making progress in the treatment of gerontological diseases. China's health care delivery focuses on prevention and treatment of cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Each year more attention is paid to environmental protection.

MeSH terms

  • Asia
  • Asia, Eastern
  • China
  • Developing Countries
  • Health
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Public Health*