The average life span of the people in the Tibet has increased by 31 years over the past 50 years, according to last year's Fifth National Census.
Local people have their average life span remarkably prolonged from 36 year upon its peaceful liberation in 1951 to 67 years in 2000, according to statistics of the census which was carried out late last year.
The autonomous region now boasts 116 people above 100 years old, which is one of the highest figures among all provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions across the country, reported Xinhua news agency.
"The much-improved living standards and medical care help me live healthily and happily today," said Yuzhol, a 100-year-old woman living in Dagze County 50 kilometers from Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region.
Before the peaceful liberation in 1951, Tibetan people were severely affected by epidemics and varieties of endemic due to the lack of medical care. Diseases such as smallpox and leprosy plagued the region and threatened many lives in the first half of the 21st century.
In the past 50 years, the region has made great strides in building up its health system that now features low costs, wide coverage and high efficiency.
Also, the central government has allocated about 1.8 billion yuan (US$220 million) in the past 50 years to Tibet's health system.
Statistics show that Tibet now has 1,237 hospitals and medical stations, 6,348 sickbeds, and 8,948 medical personnel.
The rate of deaths caused by infectious diseases has also decreased from 3.71 out of every 100,000 in 1993 to the current 1.45.
Smallpox and leprosy have already been eradicated and other infectious diseases are well under control.
Tibetan medicine, with a history of more than 2,500 years, has also received strong support from government.
So far, the region has set up about 14 institutes with more than 1,000 personnel for research work on Tibetan medicine, which is used to ward off diseases of various kinds such as arthritis, gastritis, gastric ulcers and altitude sickness.
(Xinhua News Agency 07/23/2001)