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UNFPA

Second national conference on sexual and reproductive health: from evidence to policy

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second-conf-sexual-ratio-at-birthHa Noi, 11 November 2014 - At the second national conference on Sexual and Reproductive Health organized today in Ha Noi, the Ministry of Health (MOH), The Ha Noi School of Public Health (HSPH) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Viet Nam emphasized that it is critical to strengthen the use of evidence-based research for development of health policies and programmes, especially in the area of sexual and reproductive health.

Participants of the conference were representatives from MOH, health scientists, experts, policy makers and programmers from the medical school, hospitals, research institutes, government agencies at the national and sub-national levels as well as the United Nations organizations, and international and local NGOs in Viet Nam.

Addressing the conference, Vice Minister of Health Nguyen Viet Tien said: "Strengthening scientific research, disseminating and using evidence-based research and data will contribute significantly to addressing emerging challenges of the sexual and reproductive health care, for example, maintaining fertility rate at replacement level; reducing the imbalanced sex ratio at birth, maternal death rate and child death rate, especially infant mortality rate, abortion rate; and improving sexual and reproductive health care services for young people and adolescents, older persons and other vulnerable groups, including people living with HIV and ethnic minority people".

In Viet Nam, data from the population-based surveys indicates that the country has made very impressive progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including MDG 5a and 5b. The coverage of SRH services including integrating family planning has been expanded and quality of the services including safe-motherhood and newborn care has been improved. However, there remain disparities in mortality and morbidity between various regions and population groups, especially among ethnic minority groups. Inequalities and disparities in access to quality reproductive health care are observed among women in various regions in Viet Nam, and one third of young people still face barriers in accessing SRH information and services they need. In addition, maternal deaths still occur in mountainous and hard-to-reach areas and sexually transmitted infections (including HIV), continue to be a challenge, indicating that more prevention efforts are needed.

Presentations from the national experts provided an overview of national research on sexual and reproductive health in Viet Nam during the period 2010-2014, highlighting the current situation and challenges of sexual and reproductive health care in Viet Nam, and recommending policy implications for the National Strategy on Population and Reproductive Health 2015-2020. International experts also presented on sexual and reproductive health in the Asia Pacific region as well as an orientation for future research in this area.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Arthur Erken, UNFPA Representative in Viet Nam stressed that: "Viet Nam is a largely rural country with more than 90 million inhabitants from 54 different ethnic groups. One-size-fits-all policies do not work and we should make sure that the different needs of all individuals related to SRH should be taken into account. Therefore, it is crucial for us to conduct social and operational research to improve understanding of the cultural, social, economic and structural factors affecting women and men when accessing and utilizing sexual and reproductive health services".

The outcomes of the conference will help orient the future research on sexual and reproductive health in Viet Nam, accelerating the progress towards achieving the universal access to sexual and reproductive health by 2015.

At the conference, the MOH, the HSPH and the UNFPA in Viet Nam pledge their commitment to continue working together to maintain the achievement and sustainability of the sexual and reproductive health care in Viet Nam. Investing in universal access to reproductive health is a crucial investment for healthy societies and a more sustainable future.

 

For further information, please contact:

  • Ms. Dinh Thi Bien Thuy, Ha Noi School of Public Health, Tel: (04) 6.2732040, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Ms. Nguyen Thi Hong Thanh, UN Communications, Tel: (84-4) 3822 4383 – ext: 117, Mob: 091 309 3363, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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