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15:05 Jan 29 2010

Photo album of TibetSpecial ReportMedia Voice
English>>Tibet Online
Age change in Tibet: from 35.5 to 67
09:51, January 29, 2010  

Photo taken on March 16, 2009 shows Amai Tsering, 118, the oldest person in Tibet now, celebrating her 118th birthday with her great-granddaughters Yangji(R) and Medok Drolma (L) (Xinhua Photo)

Tibet, known as the "roof of the world," has witnessed a near doubling of Tibetans' life expectancy, from the average age of 35.5 before 1959 to 67.

"The increase in population and the lengthening of life expectancy have resulted from economic development and far better medical services," said Dekyi, vice-chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Regional Government.

Tibet now has 79 old people with an average age topping 100. Amai Tsering, born on March 16, 1891, has clearly experienced the changes via her own life.

She used to make a living by grazing for the wealthy before the democratic reform was launched in 1959, leading a vagrant life with her descendents. Now she lives with her family members in Jiarong Village, Lhunzhub County and receives an 800-yuan subsidy for longevity each year from the County Government, with free medicines and a Tibetan doctor seeing her regularly.

The central government has earmarked 1.8 billion yuan to improve Tibet's medical services and public health since 1959. In 2010 Tibet's farmers and herders are expected to have an annul average medical subsidy of 180 yuan each.

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