Every 30-seconds a baby born with deformities in China


Beijing : The number of babies with birth defects in China has increased by nearly 40 percent since 2001, according to data from the country’s birth deformity monitoring centre, reported the China Daily Tuesday.

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“A baby with defects is born every 30 seconds in China, and this situation has worsened year by year,” said Jiang Fan, deputy head of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, at a conference in Chengdu, in south-west China’s Sichuan province.

Birth deformities affect up to six percent of all children born in China, or nearly one in every 10 Chinese households.

The rate of defects among all Chinese infants rose from 104.9 per 10,000 births in 2001 to 145.5 in 2006. Jiang said of the 20 million babies born in China every year, 800,000 to 1.2 million of them are afflicted with defects, with as many as 300,000 of these “visible deformities”.

According to the statistics reported, only 20-30 percent of the babies can be cured or treated, about 40 percent suffer lifelong deformities, while the remaining 30-40 per cent die shortly after birth.

Jiang said the deformities generate costs of several hundreds of billion yuan.

Experts say there is enough evidence to correlate the high occurrence of birth defects to geographic, environmental and economic factors and noted that the coal-producing province of Shanxi now tops the nation in birth defect rates.