The China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation Monday launched a project to ensure the well-being of mothers and babies in the country's poor regions.
Siemens, one of the world's leading multinationals, has actively joined in the foundation's work to reduce infant and maternal mortality rates, especially in the remote villages of western China.
The company will donate its income from selling its latest model refrigerators in some major cities, including Beijing, for this month.
"As responsible corporate citizens, we should join hands with the foundation in this endeavor," said Roland Gerke, president of Siemens China at yesterday's ceremony to launch the project.
The foundation's deputy secretary general Wang Xingzui said the foundation was launching the campaign, named "Action 120: Maternal and Infant Project," to mobilize the entire society to assist poor pregnant mothers and infants.
The foundation has designed a multi-step system including prenatal checks and emergency help facilities to guarantee timely and basic aid for pregnant women in poor rural areas.
The movement's funds will also be used to train village and township health staff and improve the level of rural medical services in this important area.
"We hope more and more generous and sympathetic donors will extend their help and we will pass their love on to the recipients," said Wang.
Thanks to the improved medical services, China's infant mortality rate had fallen to about 33 per 1,000 in 2001 and is expected to continue to decrease. In some large cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, the infant mortality rate has dropped to 5.05 per 1,000, a rate similar to that in some of the most medically advanced countries.
(China Daily August 5, 2003)