China's maternal mortality rate contracted to 19.6 per 100,000 in 2017 from 19.9 per 100,000 the previous year, the National Health and Family Planning Commission said Thursday.
Moreover, the rate of infant mortality also dropped last year from 7.5 per thousand to 6.8, narrowing the gap between China and the developed world.
Attributing the achievements to the maternal risk screening and treatment system, the commission called for improved maternal and child health care services by allocating more resources to the grassroots level.
There should be at least one public maternal and child health care institution in each county by 2020, said the commission.
China plans to further reduce the maternal mortality rate to 12 per 100,000 and the infant mortality rate to five per thousand by 2030, according to an official guideline titled Healthy China 2030.