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Guangzhou to Ensure Safe Baby Delivery for Migrant Mothers
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The southern Chinese city of Guangzhou has vowed to ensure safe baby delivery for migrant mothers in the city this year.

The infant mortality rate was five per thousand in Guangzhou last year, with underground or illegal clinics mostly to blame, according to Duan Jianhua of the Guangzhou Municipal Bureau of Population and Family Planning.

Underground clinics were always the first choice for the migrant population in the city due to lower fees and the fact that some mothers contravened national birth policies, Duan said.

Guangzhou, capital of the Chinese economic engine in Guangdong Province, attracts millions of migrant workers from all over the country each year.

Statistics show that 73,000 babies were delivered from the 3.46 million migrant population in Guangzhou last year, surpassing for the first time the number of births - 70,000 - of the 7.5 million Guangzhou citizens who have a "hukou," or registered permanent residence.

"Most of the migrant population are in the prime time for giving birth," Duan said.

To ensure safe baby delivery for migrant mothers, Guangzhou has launched a crackdown on underground or illegal clinics, especially those that offer delivery or abortion services, according to Xie Hongxin, deputy director of the Guangzhou Municipal Bureau of Population and Family Planning.

The city will also resolve issues related to managing the deliveries for the migrant population, such as special personnel, institutions and funds, and gradually set up a unified management system for delivery for both the "hukou" and the migrant population, Xie said.

(Xinhua News Agency February 27, 2006)

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