​Care for newborns at the National Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynecology. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam may fail to curb the sex imbalance at birth in 2016 as about 113.4 boys were born for every 100 girls during the first half of this year, higher than last year’s ratio of 112.8/100.

It was revealed at a seminar held by the Ministry of Health’s General Office for Population and Family Planning in Hanoi on July 27 to discuss measures to achieve the goals of reducing the birth rate and improving population quality set by the National Assembly and the Government.

At the seminar, attendees also pointed out challenges in implementing population and family planning projects this year and proposed solutions to the problems.

According to the latest report by the general office, the number of newborns and the delivery of a third child saw a year on year increase of 9.9 percent and 7.5 percent, respectively, in the first six months.

The country recorded an annual drop of 0.9 percent in contraceptive prevalence and differences in birth rates between regions remained high.

It also experienced difficulties in scaling up the programme on improving the quality of population through pre-marriage medical checkups, prenatal and newborn screenings and the reduction of marriage between close relatives – despite the increasing demand from the public.

Furthermore, there is a lack of state funding for population and family planning-related programmes across the country.

The general office plans to raise more state money for these programmes and make its birth education and communication programmes more relevant to the community.

Additionally, it will provide maternal health services integrated with family planning, and an improved quality of family planning services and prenatal and newborn screenings.-VNA