Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam urged strategic and balancing measures to cope with the speedy population-ageing problem during a conference in Hanoi on June 29 to review population and family planning work in the 2011-2015 period and design plans for the next five years.

The Deputy PM noted that the population is still on a rising trend, with high at-birth gender imbalance, especially in the northern region.

Alongside this, in the past five years, the percentage of birth control use has been dropping, while population ageing is on the rise, he added.

Dam emphasised that Vietnam’s population work is eyeing dramatic changes, requiring greater efforts of population workers as well as the engagement of all ministries and sectors from central to local levels.

He asked for the implementation of thorough research on important issues related to population work in the future, with focus on seeking measures to improve population quality.

According to Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, in the context of rapid population ageing, the ministry is building action plans and specific measures on health care services for the elderly.

Meanwhile, it has continued strengthening pre-birth and newborn screenings, as well as pre-marriage consultation, while minimising the at-birth gender imbalance, calling for society’s engagement in providing birth control methods and reproductive health care services and improving population quality.

According to deputy head of the General Department of Population and Family Planning Nguyen Van Tan, population and family planning work in the past five years saw a number of achievements. The fertility rate was maintained, while the ratio of screened mothers and children increased, with fewer children born with disabilities and better health care services for teenagers, youth and elderly, he said.

However, he also noted that several targets have not yet been fully reached, including the continuous increase of total fertility rate, which reached 2.1 in 2015 from 1.99 in 2011. The Arowana gender index dropped slowly, while unwanted pregnancy and abortion among teenagers still saw a slight fall.-VNA