LHASA, May 10 (Xinhua) -- Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region will reduce maternal and infant mortality rates to under 80 per 100,000 and 12 per 1,000 respectively by 2020, local authorities said Wednesday.
By 2020, the average life expectancy in the region is expected to reach 70 years. The mortality rate of women during pregnancy, during or shortly after delivery decreased from about 175 per 100,000 people in 2010, to 110 per 100,000 people in 2016, statistics released by the regional health and family planning commission showed.
In addition, the infant mortality rate was reduced from 20 per 1,000 in 2010, to 13 per 1,000 in 2016.
During that period, the proportion of women who gave birth in hospitals increased from about 54 to 92 percent in the region.
When the plateau region was liberated in 1951, its maternal and infant mortality rates stood at 5,000 per 100,000 people and 430 per 1,000 respectively.
Yeshe Yangzom, an official with the commission, said 74 county governments in the region cover hospital delivery costs for mothers from rural areas. [ The region has increased the subsidies given to mothers from rural areas since 2015. Woman are eligible for a grant of 1,000 yuan (144.8 U.S. dollars) each time they deliver in a hospital, according to Yangzom.
All counties in the region have maternity and child care centers, providing women with free physical examinations before pregnancy.