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China leads developing countries on health list
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08:41, October 09, 2008

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China ranked 13th on a list ranking international health conditions released by a Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) study group yesterday.

The tally uses a Nation Health Index (NHI) combining four branch indexes measuring populations' metabolisms, immunities, nervous systems and behavior, and determined China to be "qualified healthy".

"A nation is like a person," CAS' study group leader Yang Duogui said. Yang explained that immunities hinge on ecological conditions, resistance to financial risk and social stability.

"We based the rankings on an overall assessment of the countries that combined all four branch indexes," Yang said.

Forty-five countries - accounting for 89.5 percent of the global GDP, 76.6 percent of the population and 64.2 percent of the land - were evaluated in the study.

According to their indexes, they were placed into four categories: "surplus healthy", "qualified healthy", "sub-healthy" and "health deficit".

China ranked No 1 among developing countries because of its pioneering spirit, sense of responsibility, economic vitality and cohesion.

"Our country has adopted a distinctive development process," Yang said.

China is unique in that it made great efforts to developing its power, rather than wealth, in its early years.

"In the 1950s and 1960s, people were willing to starve to develop advanced sectors, such as nuclear power generation," Yang said.

However, after the reform and opening-up, the country shifted its priorities to generating national and per-capita wealth.

Over time, problems such as over-development and pollution emerged.

"As the government and people developed greater awareness, China began pursuing sustainable development, which has made it healthier," Yang said.

"If we work to strengthen our capacities for responding to national risks, controlling the course of development, creativity, and resource and environment protection our country would move up the list," Yang said.

Finland ranked No 1, and Nigeria came last. Overall, the development pattern of the Northern European countries was the healthiest.

The United States ranked No 11, and Russia came in 29th.

Source: China Daily

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