Viet Nam needs more contraceptives

Viet Nam needs to invest over VND970 billion (US$60.6 million) to adequately supply the country with much needed contraceptives, according to the Committee for Population, Family and Children.

In a workshop organised by the committee and the United Nations Population Fund o­n Friday, presenters said the State could cover less than 20 per cent of costs for free contraceptives and birth control options over the last 10 years.

This means Viet Nam would have to depend o­n international organisation to provide at least 50 per cent of needed supplies for the next 10 years, they said.

The Government also plans to raise additional funds from the public which may allows it to cut 80 per cent from funding allocated to providing free condoms during 2007-15.

The committee said overdependence o­n foreign sources would negatively affect their programmes to prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases because the o­nly o­ne company that produced contraceptive pills and three factories that made condoms in Viet Nam were simply unable to keep up with the nation’s demand.

The country’s population is predicted to increase from 84.1 million in 2006 to 93.7 million by 2015, with the number of women of child-bearing age to rise 2 million to 26 million in the next eight years.

Reproductive health groups said it was essential to make younger generations aware of sexual health issues, especially since 53 per cent of the country’s population is under 25 years old.

Workshop delegates concluded it was necessary to increase the application of modern contraceptive methods across Viet Nam in order to reduce the number of births and abortions nationwide and curb the spread of diseases like HIV/AIDS.