- Associated Press - Thursday, September 15, 2011

BEIJING (AP) - Researchers have found that encouraging women to giver birth in hospitals has contributed to a sharp decrease in the number of infant deaths in China.

The study released Friday in the medical journal Lancet says newborn deaths fell 62 percent between 1996 and 2008.

It says more babies survived because women were increasingly giving birth in hospitals or clinics.

It says China’s experience suggests promoting childbirth facilities is better than having health professionals assist women with labor in their homes.

The joint study was carried out by researchers from Peking University and the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in London. It was funded by UNICEF and the China Medical Board, a New York-based non-governmental organization.

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