Illustrative photo (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – It is necessary to switch the population policy’s focus from family planning to population and development, which is considered a policy revolution to thoroughly deal with population issues and improve the population’s quality, said an official.

Nguyen Van Tan, Deputy General Director of the General Office for Population and Family Planning, suggested that in the 2016-2020 period, Vietnam should concentrate on some major issues including maintaining a reasonable birth ratio, while effectively control the in-born gender imbalance.

The health sector should also pay greater attention to reproductive health care and increase pre-born and infant screening.

At the same time, Vietnam should optimize its advantage of the “golden population” to develop high-quality human resources in parallel with increasing the private sector’s and individuals’ engagement in caring for the elderly, he added.

The official also stressed that the population family planning work is considered an important part of Vietnam’s national development strategy and one of the country’s leading socio-economic issues, as well as a basic factor to improve the life quality of each individual, family and the whole society.

Statistics from the office showed that in the 2011-2015 period, the ratio of using birth control methods in Vietnam exceeded 76 percent. The ratio of using condom among the population rose to 14.7 percent in 2013 from 10 percent in 2006, while the using of contraceptive pills reached 17.6 percent from 13.2 percent. This helped Vietnam maintain its replacement birth ratio.

Private enterprises also played an important role in popularising contraceptive methods to the community. In the 2011-2015 period, they sold nearly 10 million contraceptive pills, nearly 80 million condoms and nearly 200,000 coils.

According to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), accessing safe and voluntary birth control methods is one of the human rights.

In 2016, contraceptive methods supplied by the UNFPA prevented 11.7 million cases of unwanted pregnancy, 3.7 million unsafe abortions, and about 29,000 maternal deaths.

The ratio of using modern contraceptive methods rose to 64 percent in 2016 from only 36 percent in 1970.

However, there are still about 225 million women in the world, including 12.7 million of adolescent girls, mostly in 69 poorest countries in the globe, have yet to access safe and effective contraceptive methods. Last year, maternal fatality was estimated at 303,000 cases.

This year, World Population Day (July 11) is themed “Family Planning: Empowering People, Developing Nations” with an aim to encourage greater investment into family planning, contributing to improving people’s health and the observation of women’s rights as well as the implementation of sustainable development goals.-VNA