Gender imbalance at birth will continue to be a challenge for Vietnam in 2013, although the increase has showed signed of slowing down this year, Health Ministry officials said at a Dec. 25 ceremony to mark the Vietnam Population Day (Dec. 26).

Statistics from the health sector show that the ratio between boys and girls born has dramatically widened, increasing from 104-109 boys born for every 100 girls between 1999 and 2005 to 109.8-111.9 boys born for every 100 girls between 2006 and 2011.

Next year, the sector will also continue efforts to improve population quality and adjust the birth rates in different regions.

The Population-Family Planning Department under the Health Ministry reported that several projects and models aimed at improving population quality have been carried out effectively in 2012.

In particular, the number of mothers and children who were provided with prenatal screening surpassed the target, thanks to a project implemented in 51 cities and provinces nationwide. -VNA