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071116 Pictobank Birth Defects 14.JPG
Three-year-old Gao Xiang cries from pain under the massage aimed to help her stiff legs, damaged since birth, while her mother holds her hand, in Cerebral Palsy Hospital, in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, China, on November 15, 2007. Gao Xiang is holding a 1 Chinese Yuan (0.14 US$) banknote in her right hand that her mother gave her as a reward if she kept quiet. China's rate of birth defects had risen from 104.9 per 10,000 births in 2001, to 145.5 in 2006, China's National Population and Family Planning Commission said in a report on its web site (www.chinapop.gov.cn). China's coal-rich northern province of Shanxi, a centre of noxious emissions from large-scale coke and chemical industries, had the highest rate of birth defects, Xinhua news agency said. Photo by Lucas Schifres/Pictobank