China has achieved positive results in its efforts to prevent disability, according to a white paper released Thursday by the State Council Information Office.
The “National Disability Prevention Action Plan (2016-2020)” has been promulgated, by which effective measures are being taken to reduce and control the occurrence of disabilities, said the white paper titled “Equality, Participation and Sharing: 70 Years of Protecting the Rights and Interests of Persons with Disabilities in the PRC.”
Pilot work on comprehensive disability prevention has been carried out around China to improve the integrated mechanism for disability screening, assessment, report and intervention.
The national immunization program has been implemented, and pre-marriage and pre-pregnancy health checks, maternal prenatal screening and tests, and screening for newborns and children with disabilities have been strengthened, said the white paper.
The Specifications for Disability Screening for Children Aged 0-6 Years (Trial) has been formulated to realize early screening and treatment of children with five types of disability. More efforts have been made in the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, endemic diseases, and chronic diseases, with a focus on key prevention projects such as salt iodization and folic acid supplementation. These have basically eliminated poliomyelitis and iodine deficiency disorders, and other causes for disabilities.
In 2017, the State Council officially designated August 25 as the Disability Prevention Day. Promotional activities to raise public awareness of disability prevention have been carried out on Disability Prevention Day, Ear Care Day (March 3), Global Iodine Deficiency Disorders Prevention Day (October 21), National Eye Care Day (June 6), World Birth Defects Day (March 3), and World Mental Health Day (October 10).
As of 2016, the Chinese government had provided free folic acid to 81 million rural perinatal women, free thalassemia screening for 978,000 couples, and free congenital disease screening for 4.69 million newborns, according to the white paper.