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Preventing maternal and newborn deaths and disabilities and empowering women to make informed, healthy choices and exercise their rights is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, New Reports Show

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HA NOI, 24 April 2018 – The first ever National Midwifery Report of Viet Nam and the Report on "Exploring barriers to accessing Maternal and Family Planning services in Ethnic Minority communities" which was launched today in Ha Noi by the Ministry of Health (MOH), with technical and financial support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Viet Nam outlines that access to quality health care is a basic human right. Greater investment in midwifery is key to making this right a reality for all women everywhere.

Viet Nam has made substantial progress in strengthening safe motherhood and newborn health services. However, there are still significant differences in maternal and child health between those in Viet Nam living in the river deltas and those living in mountainous areas, with higher maternal mortality ratios in remote and ethnic minority areas. Data from the reports showed that the proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel differed by 45 percentage points between ethnic minority participants and national estimates (49 percent vs. 94 percent).

The modern contraceptive prevalence rate among ethnic minorities was 57 percent overall, similar to the national average. However, there was wide variation between provinces and ethnic minority communities, with the rate being 75 percent in Kon Tum compared to 45 percent in Gia Lai and 41-42 percent for Ba Na and Gia Rai groups to over 70 percent for Tay and Sedang groups.

Data reveals a significant shortage of skilled birth attendants in hard-to-reach regions and a significant difference in the competency of workers who are working in the lowlands compared to the highlands. 94 percent of practicing midwives are trained at secondary level and only 0.8 percent has bachelor qualifications.

"Midwifery and midwifery practice plays a crucial role in Viet Nam's maternal and newborn health care system. A skilled midwifery workforce with high competencies, motivated and supported by the health care system, is key to successfully reducing maternal and newborn mortality and contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030," said Nguyen Viet Tien, Vice Minister of Health at the launch today in Ha Noi.

Investing in human resources for health, especially for midwives, is one of the soundest investments a country can make. It is of utmost importance to reinforce the status of midwives. When midwives are properly trained, empowered and supported, they can contribute significantly to saving the lives of mothers and newborns, as well as improving the nation's economic and social productivity. Having midwives at the bedside of every pregnant woman is a highly cost-effective public health strategy. "As Viet Nam continues to progress socially and economically, we must recognize that we cannot achieve sustainable development without promoting the health - and especially the reproductive health and rights - of women and girls throughout their life cycle. The UNFPA in Viet Nam is fully committed to support the Government and people of Viet Nam to ensure that universal access to health, including sexual and reproductive health, will become a reality for all," emphasized Ms. Astrid Bant, UNFPA Representative in Viet Nam.

The two reports include recommendations to close these gaps and to ensure all women have access to sexual, reproductive, maternal and newborn services. Every year, the world over, almost 300,000 women die during pregnancy or childbirth. Implementing the recommendations means we will have come a long way in trying to end this human tragedy, as no women should die while bringing life into this world!


For further information, please contact:

  • Ms Nguyen Thi Hong Thanh, UNFPA Communications | Tel: (84-24) 38500345 | Mob: 0913 093363 | Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.





1 December 2017

Michel Sidibé
Executive Director of UNAIDS
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations

This World AIDS Day, we are highlighting the importance of the right to health and the challenges that people living with and affected by HIV face in fulfilling that right.


Community spaces design contest for an exciting hanoi

Ha Noi, October 17/10/2017 - Aiming at improving the living environment and bringing culture and art to the community towards a better urban future, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) successfully developed the project “Promote participatory, community-based and youth-led approach in safe, greening public spaces in Hoan Kiem district toward a pro-poor, inclusive and sustainable urban development” (hereinafter called Public Spaces project) under the Block by Block program with Mojang, the makers of the videogame Minecraft.


Deadline for round 1: From 17/10/2017 to 04/11/2017 Extended to 9 November 2017


Harsh punishment for child offenders doesn’t prevent further criminality

The age at which a child, can be held criminally liable is a controversial issue around the world. Within Viet Nam, this issue is currently being grappled with in the Penal Code amendments. Some argue that a "get tough on crime" approach is necessary to punish children to prevent further criminality.

However, international research shows that because of their developmental stages, labelling and treating children as criminals at an early age can have serious negative impacts on their development and successful rehabilitation.


New Year Greetings from the United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam


On the occasion of New Year 2017, on behalf of the United Nations family in Viet Nam I wish to reiterate our appreciation and express our warmest wishes to our partners and friends throughout the country. We wish our partners and their families in Viet Nam peace, prosperity, good health and happiness in the coming year.

As we enter the second year of the Sustainable Development Goals era, we look forward to continuing our close cooperation for the sake of Viet Nam’s future development; one which is inclusive, equitable and sustainable, with no one left behind.

Youssouf Abdel-Jelil
United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December


Thirty-five years since the emergence of AIDS, the international community can look back with some pride.  But we must also look ahead with resolve and commitment to reach our goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

There has been real progress in tackling the disease. More people than ever are on treatment.  Since 2010, the number of children infected through mother to child transmission has dropped by half. Fewer people die of AIDS related causes each year.  And people living with HIV are living longer lives.

The number of people with access to life-saving medicines has doubled over the past five years, now topping 18 million. With the right investments, the world can get on the fast-track to achieve our target of 30 million people on treatment by 2030.  Access to HIV medicines to prevent mother to child transmission is now available to more than 75 per cent of those in need.

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