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At 3 p.m. on Sept. 24, the first "test tube baby" of Tibet Autonomous Region was born in Fukang Women's and Children's Hospital in Lhasa. The milestone signifies a major breakthrough for assisted reproductive technology in high-altitude environments, China News Service reported.
On July 25, 1978, the world's first test tube baby was born in the UK. Thirty-eight years later, Tibet has realized that accomplishment for itself. According to the hospital, the baby is male, weighing 2.69 kilograms. Both the baby and mother are doing well.
Wu Dong, an expert from Chengdu who provides technical support to the hospital, explained that due to factors such as decreased oxygen and lower air pressure, it has always been a challenge to apply the assisted reproduction techniques successful in other areas to women in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
Wang Bin, founder of Fukang Women's and Children's Hospital, said that three years ago, the PLA Tibet Command General Hospital carried out excellent research on the application of assisted reproductive technology in high-altitude environments, which built a foundation for this most recent success. Fukang Women's and Children's Hospital is now the only hospital in Tibet with an assisted reproductive technology center.
"Many couples in Tibet want to have children through assisted reproductive technology. In the past, they had to travel a long distance to inland cities, facing economic and cultural pressure," Wang said. "Now that we have seen the first successful birth of a test tube baby in Tibet, Tibetan couples will have more choices in the future."