China Focus: China achieves progress in disability prevention, treatment
BEIJING, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- China has seen substantial progress in advancing a five-year national action plan on disability prevention, said the National Health Commission (NHC) at a press conference ahead of the seventh National Disability Prevention Day that falls on Friday.
The action plan, designed for the period from 2021 to 2025, laid out specific measures for controlling the occurrence of birth defects and disabilities caused by development disorders, according to a document released by the NHC.
Policy-making in this regard has been stepped up and comprehensive prevention and treatment measures have been effectively expanded to cover the pre-marital, pre-pregnancy, pregnancy and neonatal stages.
Data from the NHC shows that the coverage of pre-marital health check-ups and pre-natal health screenings increased by 6.3 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively, in 2022, compared to 2020.
Meanwhile, more than 90 percent of the country's newborns received health screenings for inherited metabolic disorders and hearing impairment last year.
The rates of mortality attributable to birth defects among infants and children under the age of five both dropped more than 20 percent from 2018 to 2021, according to the data.
The action plan places equal emphasis on improving medical diagnosis and treatment to prevent and reduce disabilities caused by illnesses and injuries, as well as enhancing rehabilitation services.
Work on controlling the occurrence and development of visual and hearing impairments has been progressing continuously, with nationwide promotion of public awareness of the importance of eye and ear health, said the document.
It said that efforts have been made to strengthen medical treatment for diseases and disaster-related injuries that might cause disabilities and promote the concept of early rehabilitation.
Services rendered for people with disabilities, such as contracted family doctors and rehabilitation treatment, have been improved to raise their quality of life, the document noted.
By the end of 2022, contracted family doctor services had covered more than 20 million people with disabilities.
Primary-level medical institutions have been encouraged to provide diverse and innovative rehabilitation service models.
The document said continuous efforts will be made to implement the action plan. Further initiatives by the NHC include issuing a plan on enhancing the capacity for birth defects prevention and treatment, and prioritizing measures targeting major diseases such as congenital heart disease.