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Beijing Buses Send Message on Health
Bus riders in Beijing were surprised on Sunday when they found some papers and brochures on family planning and reproductive health care.

The material, which was about contraception, pregnancy as well as the prevention and treatment of venereal diseases, was put in special bags within passengers' easy reach on hundreds of buses throughout the city.

The move was a new attempt by the city's family planning authority to raise awareness of reproductive health care among the public, Monday's China Daily reported.

People are eager for that knowledge, especially those young migrants coming from outside Beijing, an official with the Beijing Family Planning Commission was quoted as saying.

Sex and reproductive health were taboo topics in China some decades ago, leaving many ignorant on the subjects.

"Many people are still too shy to visit doctors when they suffer reproductive failure or venereal diseases because of their ignorance about the subject, but in most cases, their problems could be solved if they did go to the doctor," the paper quoted a reporter with China Population News.

"It's good to hand out this information on public buses because many people take the buses and will therefore have access to it," said a ticket-seller on the No. 300 bus round Beijing's third ring road, who was glad to take on the additional duty of being a voluntary publicist.

As the world's most populous country, China has been promoting family planning policies for decades. Beijing as the capital is leading the country in publicity of such measures as well as communal assistance.

(China Daily July 8, 2002)

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