Health authorities to give free pre-pregnancy tests
Shenzhen city health authorities are considering implementing free pre-pregnancy test for resident hukou holders and those with residence permits, in hopes to encourage more women to take the tests. The health authority will announce the policy as soon as its implemented.
The free test is aimed to help reduce birth defects ans is important for women planning to have babies, a doctor at the Children and Maternity Hospital said. The test usually costs 500 to 1,000 yuan and only a few women can afford to take the tests. Unlike the pre-marriage tests, the pre-pregnacy test is to examined for infectious diseases and is best for women to take the test at least three to six months before planning a pregnancy.
Statistics showed that there are about 800,000 to 1.2 million babies being born in China every year that have birth defects, and between 30 to 40 percents of of this babies die soon after birth and 40 percent of them are left permanently disabled.