A nurse checks a baby's health at the Dien Bien General Hospital. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Arising hurdles in birth rate and maternity and children death are hindering Vietnam from fulfilling the national goals of its population and reproductive health strategy as well as the UN millennium development goals, stated Health Deputy Minister Nguyen Viet Tien.

He stressed the birth rate gap among different localities. Lower fertility has been recorded in the southeast and Mekong Delta regions, while the opposite trend still prevails in northern mountainous areas, the northern central region, central coastal localities and the Central Highlands region.

Maternity and children death have also varied greatly from mountainous locations to deltas. Maternity death in mountainous areas was triple that of deltas, and within the highlands area, the highest rate of maternity death could be ten times higher than the lowest rate.

Newborns accounted for 70 percent of the mortality among under one-year old.

Meanwhile, the proportion of reproductive infection remains high. A shortage of public funding for the caring of senior citizens amid the current period of aging population also adds to the problem.

The lack of paediatric and obstetric staff, particularly at the district level, has been a pressing issue.

According to Luu Thi Hong, Deputy Head of the Department of Maternal and Child Health, inadequate counselling related to reproductive health prior to marriage and prenatal screenings are also posing challenges to the sector.

She proposed taking proper measures based on each locality’s condition with a focus on quality improvement.

Communication campaigns should involve the entire community and target teenagers, Hong suggested.-VNA