Tibet to raise life expectancy to 70 by 2020

Lhasa, Nov 21 (IANS) Tibet plans to raise its average life expectancy by two years to 70 in the next five years.

Medical services in rural areas will be greatly improved to achieve this goal, Zeng Wanming, head of the region’s organisation department, said.

The average life expectancy in Tibet was 68.2 years in 2013, up from 35.5 years before the Chinese takeover in 1951, due to the high altitude and difficult access to medical service in the scarcely-populated region, Xinhua news agency reported.

“In high-altitude areas, even a cold can be lethal to the infirm,” said Tashi, a doctor, adding that before the arrival of village doctors, many rural Tibetans had to travel miles to see a doctor.

Every village in Tibet now has a clinic and an average of two medical practitioners.

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