Greater efforts needed to improve reproductive health among youngsters hinh anh 1A medical staff gives health care services to an infant (Photo: VietnamPlus)


Hanoi (VNA) – The ratio of premarital sex among youngsters is rising while only a small number of them have necessary reproductive health knowledge, heard a conference held by the Ministry of Health and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Hanoi on October 30.

According to a recent national survey on reproductive and sexual health conducted by the UNFPA and the Ministry of Health, 15 percent of adolescents and youngsters had premarital sex, a strong rise over 7.6 percent in 2003 and 9.5 percent in 2008.

Meanwhile, only 17.4 percent of the groups showed proper understanding on the time when women can get pregnant, and 25.9 percent said they know how to use condom while having sex.

Each year, Vietnam sees 1,300 abortions among girls aging between 15 and 19.

At the conference, Nguyen Duc Vinh, head of the Department of Maternal and Children Health under the Ministry of Health said that adolescents and youngsters play the decisive role in the future development of next generations. But today, the ratio of early puberty and late marriage is rising, while many youngsters have limited knowledge about sexual and reproductive health, he noted.

For those reasons, many have unsafe sexual relations, resulting in unwanted pregnancy, which lead to them becoming under-age mothers or receiving unsafe abortion services at private clinics, putting them at high risks of future infertility and reproductive track infections, among others.

Vinh stressed the urgent need to equip youngsters with proper reproductive and sexual health knowledge in association with the training of life skills.

To deal with problems related to sexual and reproductive health of adolescents and youngsters, in October 2017, Resolution 21/NQ-TW was issued at the 12th Party Central Committee’s six plenum, setting a target of reducing the ratio of unwanted pregnancy among adolescents and youngster by two thirds.

Greater efforts needed to improve reproductive health among youngsters hinh anh 2 Participants at the conference (Photo: VietnamPlus)

On August 28, 2020, the Minister of Health issued a decision approving and publishing a national plan of action on sexual and reproductive health care for adolescents and youngsters. The document has served as a guideline of the health care sector in coordinating with ministries, sectors and localities to handle current problems related to sexual and reproductive health for the groups.

According to Vinh, in order to effectively implement the scheme, the ministry is building and will issue soon a project on sexual and reproductive health care for adolescents and youngsters in the 2020-2025 period.

The project will focus on tackling prioritized issues including communications and education to create favourable conditions for the provision of friendly health care services in the field. The project is the foundation for cities and provinces nationwide to allocate resources to deal with their prioritized problems related to sexual and reproductive health.

According to the UNFPA, Vietnamese adolescents and youngsters today access many development chances in education, employment, and international exchange. But the organisation held that the young generation in Vietnam is facing challenges from the integration and globalisation process, the rapidly changing socio-economic environment, and the market economy.

Currently, there are about 1.2 billion adolescents aging from 10-19 in the world, accounting for one sixth of the world population. In developing countries like Vietnam, adolescents and youngsters make up about one fourth of the population and act as an important social force deciding the future of each nation.

The reproductive and sexual health care for adolescences and youngsters has received increasing attention in the world as well as in Vietnam. The quality of reproductive and sexual health care services to adolescents and young people will directly influence the quality of human resources of a nation as well as the future of the human race.

In the first phase from 2021 to 2023, the project will be piloted in a number of provinces, and then expanded to other cities and provinces in the 2023-2025 period./.