China vows bet­ter en­vi­ron­men­tal mon­i­tor­ing to im­prove health

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -


China aims to cre­ate a com­pre­hen­sive en­vi­ron­men­tal mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem by 2030 in its ef­forts to boost cit­i­zens’ health and raise life ex­pectancy, the gov­ern­ment has said.

Pol­lu­tion has been iden­ti­fied as one of the big­gest threats to pub­lic health in China, with smog in the north­ern re­gion blamed for higher rates of cancer, res­pi­ra­tory dis­ease and pre­ma­ture death. Wide­spread soil and wa­ter con­tam­i­na­tion have also caused health haz­ards.

Air pol­lu­tion killed more than 1 mil­lion peo­ple in China in 2012 alone, the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion said in a study pub­lished in Septem­ber. The State Coun­cil, or cab­i­net, said it would set up the “strictest en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion sys­tem” to over­see con­struc­tion, noise and at­mo­spheric pol­lu­tion, soil and wa­ter qual­ity and the ru­ral en­vi­ron­ment.

The new sys­tem would iden­tify high­risk pol­lu­tion zones and es­tab­lish a uni­fied dis­clo­sure plat­form for en­vi­ron­men­tal in­for­ma­tion, the cab­i­net said in its “Healthy China 2030” plan, pub­lished late on Tues­day.

It said China aimed to raise av­er­age life ex­pectancy to 79 years by 2030, up from 76.3 years in 2015, and would also work to tackle a gen­der im­bal­ance by set­ting up a “com­plete birth mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem”. It aims to strengthen pub­lic san­i­ta­tion and pro­vide clean drink­ing wa­ter, among the ru­ral health is­sues tack­led.

It will also seek to cut in­fant mor­tal­ity, traf­fic deaths, smok­ing and al­co­hol abuse, work to im­prove cancer sur­vival rates, rein in early deaths from chronic dis­eases and step up intervention for psy­cho­log­i­cal ill­nesses, it added.

To help re­duce health risks, it would also aim to raise the num­ber of ac­tive par­tic­i­pants in sport to 530 mil­lion by 2030, up from 360 mil­lion in 2014, be­sides pro­mot­ing the “lead­ing role” of Chi­nese medicine in dis­ease treat­ment.

Also on the cards is the cre­ation of “ma­ture” forms of health in­sur­ance, with more bal­anced con­tri­bu­tions from gov­ern­ment, en­ter­prises and in­di­vid­u­als, as part of ef­forts to cut in­di­vid­ual health costs to about a quar­ter of to­tal spend­ing, ver­sus 29.3 per­cent in 2015.—Reuters

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