Nhan Dan – A nationwide video conference between the Government and 63 cities and provinces was held yesterday to launch the strategic national population and reproductive health development plan for the 2011-2020 period.
The conference discussed creating action plans in each locality, developing communication programmes on population and reproductive health aimed at changing behaviours, and mapping out orientations for implementing the plan in the 2011-2015 period, with a vision to 2020.
Presiding over the conference, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan pointed out both the advantages and challenges for population planning in Vietnam.
He said that population and family planning has made significant progress in stabilising the scale of the country’s population, slowing down the population growth rate, improving maternal and child health, and raising awareness and changing behaviour towards the sex-ratio imbalance.
However, the quality of the population is still low with a high rate of children suffering from malnutrition and inborn deformities, particularly those who live in remote and isolated areas, while the sex-ratio at birth (SRB) continues to rise alarmingly, Nhan added.
The Deputy PM urged relevant agencies, ministries and authorities to take drastic measures to improve the quality of population and tackle the SRB imbalance.
He stressed that Vietnam has entered the golden population period where the working-age population accounts for 69% of the total population, so maintaining a reasonable population growth rate to extend this golden ratio is one of the country’s top priorities.
The national strategic population and reproductive health development plan aims to maintain a population increase of around 1% in 2015 and stabilising at 1% or lower by 2020, and bring back a normal SRB of 105-106 male births per 100 female births by 2025. It also hopes to improve reproductive health, and narrow the regional gaps in healthcare development.