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Experts call for better access to contraceptive methods

Update: September, 26/2017 - 17:00
Students research knowledge on reproductive health at a school in Hà Nội. Every year, some 250,000-300,000 cases of abortion were reported in Việt Nam. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Ngọc
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Some 250,000-300,000 cases of abortion are reported annually in Việt Nam. Last year, more than 265,500 cases were reported.

The statistics were unveiled at a conference held in Hà Nội on Tuesday, during which experts shared experiences and knowledge about unexpected pregnancies, unsafe abortions and various contraceptive methods.

Speaking at the conference, Đinh Anh Tuấn, deputy director of the Maternal and Child Health Care Department under the Ministry of Health, said that unsafe abortions remained a problem for the community and a challenge for different countries across the world, especially developing countries.

Tuấn said that there were three mains reasons for unexpected pregnancies in Viet Nam. The first reason was that as many as 55.6 per cent of couples do not use contraceptive methods. The second, was that more than 39 per cent of them use contraceptive methods, but in the wrong way, or the method was ineffective. Another reason was that the couples want to use contraceptive methods, but do not have access to them.

“At present, the country lacks technical guidance on abortions and there is no co-ordination between abortion services and family planning services,” said Tuấn.

Women’s health care after an abortion has not received proper attention, and services of supplying contraceptive methods for women after an abortion is also not good, he said.

He said that the MoH will improve the coverage of contraceptive methods to ensure more and more couples can access these services. The supply of contraceptive methods after an abortion will be strengthened, more training on the field will be given to medical workers, and private clinics conducting abortion services will be supervised strictly, he said.

The conference was held by the Việt Nam Women’s Union, the MoH’s General Office of Population and Family Planning and the Bayer Co Ltd, as part of World Contraception Day which is observed on September 26. The conference attracted the participation of more than 300 representatives from different ministries, sectors and non-governmental organisations.

Speaking at the conference, Deputy Minister of Health, Nguyễn Viết Tiến, said that World Contraception Day was a global campaign to indicate youths’ responsibility in safe sexual relations and pregnancy prevention for themselves.

World Contraception Day was aimed at improving the awareness of the people about contraceptive methods, and helping them make a proper choice related to reproductive health, he said.

Experts agreed that family planning education was an investment with the lowest expenses and the highest effectiveness.

At present, the country has more than 24.2 million women in the child-bearing age, from 15 to 49 years, according to the General Statistics Office. — VNS

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