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National Project Helped Improve Health, Demography In Russia - Deputy PM

Crowd of RussiansMoscow, 28 February: Natural decline in the population of Russia has decreased by 70 per cent in five years thanks to the implementation of the Health national project, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Zhukov said on Monday (28 February). The first phase of the implementation of the Russian demographic policy blueprint was completed in 2010; as part of this phase, a package of measures was taken to boost the birth rate and reduce the death rate, various types of childcare allowances were increased, and additional measures were introduced to support women who gave birth to a second and subsequent children.

"For the first time in years we have managed to stabilize population numbers. Thanks to a rise in the birth rate and a fall in the death rate, natural population decline fell by 70 per cent over this period," Zhukov told a hook-up conference on the results of the implementation of national projects in Russia.

He said that the birth rate had increased by 23 per cent since 2006, while the death rate had decreased by 11.2 per cent.

For her part, Russian Health and Social Development Minister Tatyana Golikova noted that, as of 1 January 2010, the population of Russia was 141.9m people. However, able-bodied population in Russia is declining. The average life expectancy in Russia is 68.98 years.

"Summing up the results for five years, one can, in general, say with a degree of certainty that the implementation of national projects has contributed significantly to the modernization of the key spheres which directly affect people's quality of life," Zhukov said. (Passage omitted: repetition)

Talking about the implementation of the Health project, Zhukov said that over 10,000 clinics had received modern diagnostic equipment over five years, as a result of which the waiting period for an examination with the use of equipment has been reduced from 10 to 5-3 days. Moreover, about 70 per cent of the ambulance fleet has been upgraded since 2006, helping reduce the waiting time from 35 to 25 minutes. (Passage omitted)

According to Zhukov, the number of deaths resulting from road injuries was reduced by 21 per cent, and deaths from circulation diseases, by 11.4 per cent in 2010.

As part of the programme to promote healthy lifestyle, 502 health centres for adults have been opened in Russia. "In the past year, consumption of alcoholic beverages fell by 4.5 per cent, and the share of smokers (in the population), by 7.6 per cent," Zhukov said.

Modern prenatal centres are being built in 22 regions of the country.

He said that infant mortality in Russia had fallen by nearly a third in five years. Moreover, maternal mortality had fallen by 13.4 per cent. Zhukov said that the number of children born in 2010 was 28,000 (1.6 per cent) more than in 2009, and 332,000 more than in 2005.

The second phase in the implementation of the demographic programme, which provides for measures to stabilize the situation in the country, begins in 2011. By 2016, the population has to be stabilized at 142-143m; life expectancy has to increase to 70 years; the cumulative birth rate has to increase by 30 per cent compared with 2006, and the death rate has to be reduced by a third compared with 2006.

According to the blueprint plan, Russia is to spend R1,617bn (56bn dollars) on improving demography in the next five years. Funding for 2011-2013 has been approved in the federal budget law and amounts to R876.1bn.

(Corporate-owned Russian news agency Interfax later quoted Golikova as telling the same meeting that her ministry was concerned with the demographic situation in rural areas. Although the birth rate there is 10.3 per cent higher than the national average, the death rate was 13.4 per cent higher, and infant mortality, 19.7 per cent higher, she said.)


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