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Provinces to apply targeted family planning

Update: September, 04/2013 - 09:35

Measures to adjust birth rates will be flexible in different provinces and cities in the future so that localities can choose the most suitable measures for their situations, said experts from the General Office for Population and Family Planning.— Photo giadinh

HA NOI (VNS) — Measures to adjust birth rates will be flexible in different provinces and cities in the future so that localities can choose the most suitable measures for their situations, said experts from the General Office for Population and Family Planning.

Nguyen Van Linh, standing deputy chairman of the northern Bac Giang province People's Committee said that the urgent duty for the province in the future was to adjust the sex ratio at birth.

The province's sex ratio at birth was 120.42 boys for every 100 girls which was very high compared with the country's average rate of 112.67 boys for every 100 girls, he said.

In August last year, the committee approved a strategy for population and reproductive health for the period of 2012-15, in which seven measures will be implemented to reduce the sex ratio at birth.

District medical stations will sign commitments to not implement procedures for choosing the sex of a foetus, including ultrasound. The provincial Department of Health will strengthen its inspection of the stations and impose strict punishment for violations.

The provincial health sector will join hands with the local Fatherland Front, women's association, Department of Information and Communications as well as multimedia to disseminate information to women and the community on the issue, he said.

Nguyen Van Tuan, chairman of the northern Nam Dinh province People's Committee, said that in the future the province will focus on reducing the birth rate.

At present the province's total fertility rate (TFR) is 2.19, which decreased from previous years; however, the province still faces a latent risk of the rate increasing due to the high number of maternal age women.

The province is targeting a TFR of 1.8 by 2015. To reach the target, the province plans to hold three conferences, with the participation of more than 200 people, between neighbouring provinces and cities to share experiences related to the issue.

The province will disseminate nearly 200,000 informative leaflets discussing the issue of birth rate reduction, and give counseling to couples registering marriages with local authorities.

It will also hold 20 training courses on the issue for about 1,000 medical workers and volunteers.

Tuan proposed that the General Office for Population and Family Planning have more social welfare policies in place for couples having only daughters, as many people in the province attempt to conceive more children in an attempt to bear a son.

Meanwhile, the HCM City Department of Health has encouraged women in the city to give birth to two children rather than the current trend of one.

On average, the city's birth rate is 1.3 children per woman, the lowest in the country, said To Thi Kim Hoa, deputy director of the department.

The department will also utilise multimedia to disseminate information on the consequences of a low birth rate, including the shortage of a labour force that will affect the city's economy in the long term.

The city health sector will join hands with hospitals and medical stations to improve the quality of reproductive health care services for local residents and immigrants, she said. — VNS

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