A ​population worker gives advice on reproductive health to ethnic minority people (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Investing in education and health care for adolescent girls is necessary, contributing to bringing into full play Vietnam’s golden population structure in economic development, a Vietnamese official has suggested.

Le Canh Nhac, deputy head of the General Department of Population and Family Planning under the Ministry of Health, said adolescent girls should receive optimal conditions to grow up safely and healthily.

He made the suggestions in the context that a large number of girls worldwide have been forced to get married before the age of 18, resulting in 20,000 girls aged between 15-17 in developing countries giving birth each day.

Up to 10 percent of global girls said they had been raped before fifteen. Of note, suicide and complications in pregnancy are the leading killers of girls between the ages of 15-19, the official said.

Such statistics raise a global alarm over the early marriages facing adolescent girls, he noted.

A research study conducted by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) pointed to gender violence, lack of access to medical and educational services and the failure to bring relevant policies into life as root causes leaving girls behind, according to Luong Quang Dang from the General Department of Population and Family Planning.

He, therefore, underlined the need to erase the gap between girls and boys, put an end to gender violence, empower girls and women and change out-dated social concepts.

UNFPA Chief Representative in Vietnam Astrid Bant said the fund has implemented communication programmes to help young girls exercise their rights, including the rights to accessing information and services regarding reproductive and sexual health.

Such activities aim to help all Vietnamese women have healthy and safe pregnancies, she added.

Besides, the fund has been working to improve access to contraceptive measures for unmarried Vietnamese youths, especially young migrants in difficult circumstances and those from ethnic minority groups or removed and far-flung areas.

The fund also helped to include living skills and education about HIV and reproductive heath in curricula at schools.

The UNFPA has determined “Investing in adolescent girls” as the theme of the 2016 World Population Day in order to call on governments, organisations, communities and families to pay more attention to teenage girls.-VNA