Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan, Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien and representatives from some ministries and sectors visited and presented gifts to Vietnam’s 90-millionth citizen – a 3.2kg newborn baby girl named Nguyen Thi Thuy Dung, who was born on November 1 in the National Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Vice President Doan said the birth of the baby marks the establishment of the period known as Vietnam’s ‘golden population structure’ which opens many new opportunities for the country’s development in the future.

She asked the health sector to prioritise care for mothers and children, especially prenatal care and in the first years after birth.

The sector also needs to pay attention to monitoring the development of newborn babies through to adulthood in order to reduce malnutrition, she stressed.

Duong Quoc Trong, General Director of the General Department of Population and Family Planning under the Ministry of Public Health, said in 1989 scientists forecast that Vietnam’s population would reach 90 million in 2002.

However, thanks to the country’s successes in family planning work, the milestone was delayed by 11 years, he added.

With a population of 90 million, Vietnam is the 14th most populous country in the world and the 3 rd largest in Southeast Asia.

Vietnam has now entered the ‘golden population structure’ with about 63 million people at working age (15-64), creating workforce advantages for the country’s industrialisation and modernisation.

However, the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Vietnam poses challenges regarding the creation of jobs, the improvement of human resources quality and an aging population.

To turn challenges into opportunities, the joint effort of the Party, people and the country’s political system is required to raise the quality of Vietnam’s population, thus creating a superior workforce for the country.-VNA