|UNFPA’s representative in Việt Nam Astrid Bant (first right) in a field trip in the Central Highlands Province of Kon Tum. The 40th anniversary of Việt Nam-UNFPA Co-operation is organised on Tuesday in Hà Nội. — Photo Courtesy of the UNFPA|
HÀ NỘI — The health ministry and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Việt Nam on Tuesday commemorated the 40th anniversary of Việt Nam-UNFPA Co-operation by organising a conference on family planning.
The event, clubbed with World Population Day, which falls on July 11, was themed, “Family Planning: Empowering People, Developing Nations”.
Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyễn Viết Tiến said: “As soon as Việt Nam became a member of the United Nations in 1977, the UNFPA established a partnership with us in the area of population and family planning. Over the past 40 years, the UNFPA has made important contributions towards Việt Nam’s population and reproductive health, family planning programmes and has become a leading agency in this area in the country.”
In Việt Nam, the total fertility rate has dropped from an average of five children per couple – recorded in the 1970s – to 2.09 in 2016. The use of modern contraceptives has increased from 37 per cent in 1988 to 67 per cent in 2016. At the same time, maternal mortality rate has fallen from 233 per 100,000 live births in the 1990s to 69 per 100,000 live births in 2009 and 58.3 in 2016.
“Investing in family planning is investing in the health and rights of women and couples worldwide,” said Kamal Malhotra, UN resident coordinator in Việt Nam. “These investments yield economic and other gains that can propel development forward and are thus critical to the success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its accompanying 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
Astrid Bant, UNFPA’s representative in Việt Nam, said: “As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of our collaboration and partnership, I am confident that the partnership between the UNFPA and Việt Nam will continue to thrive. I am delighted to be here to reaffirm our continuing commitment to ’delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled’, and making sure that nobody is left behind.”
A photo exhibition will be held from Tuesday to July 16 at Photo Exhibition House, No 93 Đinh Tiên Hoàng Street, Hà Nội, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the co-operation between Việt Nam and the UNFPA. This exhibition will showcase key achievements in population and development, sexual and reproductive health, including voluntary family planning and gender equality. — VNS