Vice President urges for continuous efforts in population and family planning

NDO – Along with the implementation of positive policies and solutions, continuous efforts should be paid on population and family planning work in order to build a prosperous family with progress and happiness, as well as to raise the quality of the population to facilitate the national socio-economic development and prosperity, Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh has said.

Vice State President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh speaks at the ceremony to mark World Population Day and the 40th anniversary of cooperation between Vietnam and UNFPA at Hanoi Opera House, July 11. (Credit: NDO)


The State official made the remark while addressing a ceremony at Hanoi Opera House o­n Tuesday morning to mark the 2017 World Population Day, observed annually throughout the world o­n July 11. The event also coincides with the 40thanniversary of cooperation between the Government of Vietnam and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) (1977-2017).

The celebration was co-organised by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and UNFPA in Vietnam under the theme “Family Planning: Empowering People, Developing Nations.”

Speaking at the ceremony, Vice President Thinh praised the MOH and the related agencies and their staff and specialists in population fields over various periods, as well as the organisations and individuals, from home and abroad, who have strived for a cooperative relationship between Vietnam and the UNFPA and contributed to the success of the population and family planning work in Vietnam over the past 40 years.

She affirmed that for each country, population work has an important role in relation to people, quality of human resources and socio-economic development. In Vietnam, population-family planning is an important part of the national development strategy, not o­nly decisive for socio-economic but also for sustainable development.

Stressing the significance of Vietnam-UNFPA cooperation in Vietnam's population and family planning programmes, the vice president said that, thanks to the positive results achieved, Vietnam’s efforts were highly appreciated by the UN and honoured with the UN Population Award in 1999. Since then, the country has always strived to achieve its goal of stabilising the population size and gradually improving the population quality.

Despite significant achievements, population and family planning work in Vietnam still faces many difficulties and challenges, such as a large population size which continues to increase; uneven control of population growth rate; rapid aging putting pressure o­n social security; the spreading of sexual imbalance at birth; non improved reproductive health, especially in adolescents; and limitations in taking advantage of the “golden population structure.”

Vice President Thinh expressed her sincere thanks to the UNFPA for its active support to Vietnam in this field, adding that the UN agency would join other countries, international organisations and NGOs to continue cooperating and assisting Vietnam in population and other areas.

According to Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Viet Tien, as soon as Viet Nam became a member of the UN in 1977, UNFPA established a partnership with the country in the field of population and family planning. Over the last 40 years, the UNFPA has made important contributions to Vietnam’s Population and Reproductive Health/ Family Planning programmes and has become a leading agency in this area in the Southeast Asian nation.

Thanks to their support, Vietnam’s total fertility rate has fallen from an average of five children per couple (recorded in the 1970s) to 2.09 in 2016, reaching the replacement level. The modern contraceptive prevalence rate increased from 37% in 1988 to 67% in 2016. The maternal mortality rate has fallen from 233 per 100,000 live births in the 1990s to 69 per 100,000 live births in 2009 and 58.3 per 100,000 live births in 2016 – a dramatic improvement, added Tien.

Affirming the UNFPA’s continuous assistance to Vietnam, Astrid Bant, UNFPA Country Representative, said that the partnership between both sides has gone through nine five-year country cooperation programmes, with nearly 100 projects implemented at all levels. UNFPA has provided more than US$190 million in financial support to Vietnam, together with a large amount of technical support to improve people’s access to quality sexual and reproductive health services, collect high-quality population data, address gender equality and build national capacity.

Kamal Malhotra, UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam, said that investing in family planning is investing in the health and rights of women and couples worldwide. These investments also yield economic and other gains that can propel development forwards and are thus critical to the success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its accompanying 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), he added.

On the occasion, a photo exhibition o­n the 40thanniversary of Vietnam-UNFPA partnership opened at the Photo Exhibition House, No. 93 Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hanoi. Running until July 16, the photo exhibition showcases the key achievements o­n population and development, sexual and reproductive health, including voluntary family planning and gender equality in Vietnam.

Also as part of the celebration, six Vietnamese celebrities were appointed to be UNFPA Ambassadors, including MC Phan Anh for all advocacy and communications activities; Miss Viet Nam 2016 Do My Linh for Young People; Saxophonist Quyen Van Minh for Older Persons; Rocker Pham Anh Khoa for Prevention of Violence against Women and Girls; Singer Duy Khoa for Prevention of Imbalanced Sex Ratio at Birth; and Actress Chieu Xuan for cervical cancer prevention.

                                                                                                                     TRUNG HUNG