The Prime Minister has approved the national strategic population plan and the reproductive health development plan for the 2011-20 period.

Vietnam thus hopes to lower the rising sex ratio at birth (SRB) and lower the population increase rate to around 1 percent.
The plan will focus on bringing back the normal SRB of 105-106 boys for 100 girls around the year 2025 from the current level of 111.2 boys. Currently, the Red River Delta region records the highest level at 117.1 boys in urban areas and 111.5 boys in rural areas.

Nguyen Van Tan, deputy head of the General Department for Population and Family Planning, said the department will continue raising awareness of local authorities on the plans to achieve these targets.

"All of these targets can be achieved given the current circumstances and they are critically important as we all know issues pertaining to the quality of the population can greatly affect our socio-economic development goals," Tan said.

The Government also outlines 11 targets to maintain the well-being of the population, such as maintaining the population increase rate at around 1 percent in 2015 and to the stable level of 1 percent or lower in 2020, increasing the human development index to the world medium level by 2020.

In addition, efforts must be made to lower the death rate of children under 5 from drowning. The target is 19.3 percent in 2015 and below 16 percent in 2020. Additionally, the death rate of mothers due to pregnancy-related problems will ideally be lowered to 58.3/100 000 babies by 2015 and below 52/100, 000 in 2020.

The plan also includes improving the reproductive health of migrants, people with disabilities, HIV-infected individuals, ethnic minorities and victims of domestic violence and natural disasters.

There will soon be an national teleconference between the Government and 63 provinces to work out the plan's implementation.

According to the latest population and housing survey, Vietnam's current population is 85.6 million and the increase rate was recorded at 1.2 percent between 1999-2009./.