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China plans $120m for mother-to-child transmission prevention

10-21-2010 16:27 BJT

TAIYUAN - China earmarked more than 800 million yuan ($120 million) in 2010 to prevent the transmission of AIDS, syphilis and hepatitis B from mothers to babies, sources with the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.

The figure is 10 times larger than what was budgeted in 2009, which was directed only at preventing the mother-to-child transmission of AIDS, said Zhang Lingli, director of the women's section in the Department of Maternal and Child Health Care and Community Health (DMCHCC) of the MOH.

The project would cover more than 1,000 counties throughout China and over six million mothers would benefit from the project, Zhang said at a conference on the project in Taiyuan, the capital city of North China's Shanxi province.

"As there is an increasing proportion of women being infected with HIV, syphilis and HBV, the central government is attaching great importance to the prevention of mother-to-child transmission to reduce the infection among babies and improve the health of women and children in general," she said.

Medical institutions will offer tests and consultation services for pregnant women and free treatment will be provided to both mother and baby in cases where the mother's test result turned out to be positive, said Zhang Bo with the DMCHCC.

According to the MOH, by 2015, more than 80 percent of pregnant women in China will undergo HIV, syphilis and HBV tests, and at least over 85 percent of the infected mothers and babies will be provided free treatment.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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