HA NOI (VNS)— The Ministry of Health has requested departments of health in cities and provinces to step up inspections and control of abortion services throughout the country.
According to Nguyen Duy Khue, head of the Mother and Child Health Department, recent reports found that some medical clinics, especially private ones, had failed to follow technical requirements and allowed serious consequences to occur as a result of unsafe abortions.
At the ministry's request, medical clinics, particularly private ones which offer abortion services, will be inspected with regard to their operating certificates and operating scopes. The ministry said violating clinics must be strictly punished.
Increased training and re-training on safe abortion practices in both public and private clinics have also been requested.
According to the Ministry of Health, the number of women of a reproductive age in Viet Nam is expected to increase and reach nearly 27 million by 2020.
Statistics from Viet Nam's Family Planning Association revealed that there were about 1.4 million abortions annually in the country, of which more than 300,000 were carried out for women under 20 years old.
The figures, however, were only collected from public hospitals, not the other 31,000 private clinics in the country.
According to the General Office for Population and Family Planning, abortions were the result of unwanted pregnancies, which were largely attributable to financial difficulties and the lack of public awareness about reproductive health and contraceptive methods, especially among teenagers.
Experts said selective abortion was also partially responsible for the noticeable disparities between the birth rates of male and female children in Viet Nam. Statistics show there has been an increase in the ratio of 106 boys to 100 girls in the year 2000 to 111 boys to 100 in 2010. — VNS