|A medical worker gives education on mother and child care and family planning to a woman working in the central province of Quang Ngai. The country aims to continue to lower maternal mortality levels. — VNA/VNS Photo Duong Ngoc
HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam needs to improve the quality of services to continue to lower maternal mortality levels, experts said at a workshop held in Ha Noi yesterday by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Viet Nam.
In Viet Nam, data from the population-based surveys indicated that the country reduced maternal mortality rate from 233 per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 65 per 100,000 in 2015. The coverage of sexual reproductive health services including integrating family planning has been expanded and quality of the services including safe-motherhood and new-born care has been improved.
However, there remain disparities in mortality between various regions and population groups, especially among ethnic minority groups.
Speaking at the workshop, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Viet Tien said that the priorities would be used as inputs to the development of short-term and long-term strategies and plans, for not only the Ministry of Health but also development partners including civil society organisations for the coming years.
The priorities should be inserted into policies and programmes of the Government, non-governmental organisations and the country's development and supportive partners beyond 2015, he said.
Apart from the first priority mentioned above, the health sector should collaborate with private telecommunication providers to actively provide information to adolescents and unmarried young people.
The health sector should also improve its approach in the provision of family services and develop national standards for a quality assurance system on contraceptives in compliance with international standards.
A fourth priority aims to develop national comprehensive strategies and policies on prevention and control of reproductive cancers.
Finally, priority should be given to improving the linkages and integration of HIV and sexual reproductive health and family planning into policies, programmes and service delivery at all levels.
Astrid Bant, UNFPA Representative in Viet Nam, said, "In addressing the needs of vulnerable populations, the priorities should focus on policies and interventions that help reduce inequities in sexual reproductive health among populations such as ethnic minorities, migrants, young people and those who are living in difficult-to-reach regions."
While designing policies and interventions, it was important to apply rights-based and culturally sensitive approaches, and to ensure that the policies and interventions are evidence-based, she said. — VNS