Vietnam strives to capitalise on advantages of population structure hinh anh 1A health worker provides examination for a child. (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA) -
From 2007, Vietnam entered the golden population, as quality of population improved in various spheres. The country’s average life expectancy rose quickly to 73.5 in 2018, much higher than that in countries with a similar income level. 

With growing awareness, a resolution and strategy, Vietnam could mobilise all it has to realise the target of capitalising on advantages of the country’s population to match the new trend for a population structure and rational distribution.

The whole nation needs to work in order to help all Vietnamese people receive best treatment, fairness and equal opportunities. 

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam made the remark at a ceremony to launch the national action month on population in 2019 and the Vietnam Population Day (December 12), which was held in Hanoi on December 10.

The leader noted that current population problems are not just family planning and ensuring maternal, child and all people’s health, but have become more complicated. It has become a responsibility of nation and citizens, not just of the Ministry of Health, he added.

The quality of the population should not be counted on health care and physical health only, as due attention should be paid to the prevention and treatment of mental health of senior citizens, adolescents and children. Parents bear the responsibility to take good care of all children born into this world and make sure they enjoy fairness and equal opportunities.

The Deputy PM pointed out that relevant agencies need to change their management and methods of mobilisation in handling population issues. However, authorities, communities and people have yet to fully be aware of the problem. 

He cited Resolution No.21-NQ/TW on population work in the new context which was issued nearly two years ago but there is no mechanism to call for the participation of all sectors, and just that of the Ministry of Health and the General Office for Population and Family Planning.

Vietnam strives to capitalise on advantages of population structure hinh anh 2Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam speaks at the ceremony. (Photo: VNA)

The Deputy PM also called for more training courses and further development for those working in the population sector in a new way, not only in family planning and reproductive health, so that they will become the main force in related spheres such as dissemination of child education, child protection and elderly care. 

General Director of the General Department of Population and Family Planning under the Ministry of Health Nguyen Doan Tu said in recent years, population management has reaped significant accomplishments. 

Population growth rate has been curbed by dozens of millions. Replacement level fertility has been maintained throughout the past 13 years and population structure has enjoyed positive development. The number of people in the working-age population also surged. 

Tu added that malnutrition and maternal and child deaths have plummeted over the last few years while the stature and stamina of Vietnamese people improved. Population distribution has become more reasonable in the period, in line with urbanisation and industrialisation, as well as requirements of socio-economic development, thus ensuring national defence and security. Services related to population and family planning has been improved.

In spite of important achievements which greatly contribute to the country’s development, difficulties and major challenges remain ahead involving population. Instead of just focusing on handling family planning to stabilize the population size, at the moment, the sector needs to bolster the solution of problems related to the population size and distribution, especially improving the population quality aligning with socio-economic development while ensuring defence and security. 

Current challenges are uneven birth rates between regions, provinces and cities. Some localities record low birth rate such as Ho Chi Minh City, south eastern and Mekong Delta provinces. On the other hand, the figure is remarkably high in northern mountainous, north central, central coastal and Central Highlands localities.

Of note, sex ratio at birth stands at an alarming level, while the country has yet to capitalise on advantages of the golden demographics or devise concerted solutions. Vietnam is facing a rapid pace of aging but not prepared to adapt to the change or provide good care for the growing elderly population. Population quality still fails to meet requirements for the country’s industrialisation and modernisation, among others./.