Vietnam’s Population Day celebrated in Hanoi

(VOV) - The Ministry of Health held a meeting in Hanoi on December 25 - the eve of Vietnam’s Population Day (Dec. 26) - promoting birth rate reduction and gender equality for sustainable development.

The meeting’s attendees heard Vietnam’s population growth rate has fallen to 1.04 percent. The birth rate per woman has dropped sharply from 6.4 in 1960 to 1.99 at present. Average life expectancy has hit 73 years.

Experts raised concerns regarding the rising trends in birth defects and early marriage practices in ethnic minority groups.

They also noted the dangers of the current gender imbalance (112.3 boys to every 100 girls in 2012).

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Viet Tien said that in some provinces the gender imbalance at birth has hit alarming levels (130 boys/100 girls).

He recommended using the country’s golden population period to advance the national development process.

The Health Ministry will intensify measures targeted at narrowing the gender ratio’s disparity, including running information dissemination campaigns and offering greater access to healthcare services.