Cities celebrate World Population Day

The General Department of Population and Family Planning and the Hanoi People’s Committee held a meeting on July 11 to mark World Population Day, themed “Adolescent Pregnancy”.
The General Department of Population and Family Planning and the Hanoi People’s Committee held a meeting on July 11 to mark World Population Day, themed “Adolescent Pregnancy”.

Addressing the meeting, Deputy General Director of the general department Le Canh Nhac emphasised the need to increase investment in reproductive health care, especially those for teenagers and youngsters.

In recent years, Hanoi has gained remarkable achievements in population and family planning work. Activities to raise the quality of population, reduce gender imbalance at birth and improve reproductive health have been maintained and expanded.

However, the city still faces many challenges and difficulties, including the fast increase in its population due to the high number of women of child-bearing age and deep-rooted traditional wish to have many children and sons.

Notably, abortion rate in the capital city is still high. Unsafe sex, unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among adolescents and youngsters also tend to increase as young people lack knowledge of sexual and reproductive health.

Director of the municipal Health Department Nguyen Khac Hien said that in the coming time, the city will focus on providing teenagers with essential knowledge to make them more aware of sexual and reproductive health through programmes at school and at home.

The same day, Ho Chi Minh City also organised a meeting to celebrate the Day, with the aim to increase the community’s awareness of teen pregnancy.

According to statistics of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), over one third of Vietnamese adolescents do not have access to contraceptives, and underage abortions account for an estimated 20 percent of the total cases. The rate of teenaged mothers was 46 per 1,000 girls in 2011, and the figure tended to be higher among groups with lower education level, lower living standards, ethnic minority groups, and communities in northern mid-land and mountainous areas.

Arthur Erken, UNFPA Representative in Vietnam said adolescent pregnancy is a world problem. Often it is a consequence of poverty, discrimination, rights violations including child marriage, sexual coercion and inadequate education.-VNA

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