US$6.4 million project launched to support reproductive health and family planning in Vietnam

Wednesday, 2017-11-15 08:20:55
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Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Viet Tien and UNFPA Representative in Vietnam Astrid Bant sign the deal to implement the project, Hanoi, November 15. (Credit: UNFPA Vietnam)
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NDO – A new collaboration between Vietnam and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to address the inequalities in sexual and reproductive health and family planning was launched in Hanoi on November 15, between the Ministry of Health (MOH) and UNFPA in Vietnam.

Entitled "Support the MOH to effectively address inequalities in Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) and Family Planning (FP) and deliver health responses to emerging issues through developing and monitoring the implementation of evidence and human rights-based laws and policies" (VNM9P01), the project will be implemented in the Southeast Asian country during the 2017-2021 period with the total budget of US$6.4 million, of which US$5.5 million funded by UNFPA.

It aims to improve the quality of life of Vietnamese people through the effective development and implementation of evidence-based policies on SRH and population/FP, focusing on increasing universal access to and use of quality SRH and FP services, whilst helping people to make their own choices with regards to their sexual and reproductive health.

The project also targets effectively responding to urgent issues, including the imbalance in sex ratios at birth and gender-based violence in all groups, especially disadvantaged and vulnerable people, in addition to promoting gender equality in Vietnam.

Addressing the signing for the project this morning, Nguyen Viet Tien, Deputy Minister of Health, said that his ministry has been working closely together with UNFPA in the last eight country programmes in order to address issues related to the provision of SRH/FP services.

In the 8th Country Programme, the focus of cooperation between the MOH and UNFPA was relatively ambitious with an impressive budget. Despite encountering several difficulties in the initial phase of implementation, the project was successfully executed, greatly contributing to the success of the 8th Country Programme. The success of the project has also created a solid platform for the implementation of the National Strategy on Protection, Care and Improvement of People's Health, Tien added.

Data from the 2009 census and other population change surveys show that Vietnam has achieved most MDGs, including the MDG5 on reducing maternal mortality. However, wide disparities and inequities in access to and the utilisation of sexual and reproductive health services between urban and rural areas, geographical zones and vulnerable groups still remain and need to be forcefully addressed in the national sustainable development goals.

Astrid Bant, UNFPA Country Representative in Vietnam said that UNFPA stands committed to support the Government of Vietnam in achieving the vision of universal access to an integrated package of quality sexual and reproductive health services in every commune and district of the country.

In addition, a united and multi-sectorial approach should be taken on healthcare issues, which involves a strong partnership between the public and private sector, as well as civil society organisations, she suggested.

During four years of implementation, the VNM9P01project expects to achieve the following outputs, including an improved national policy environment to conduct participatory and evidence-based advocacy for rights-based national laws, policies and programmes on adolescents and youth development issues; enhanced policy environment to prevent gender-based violence and harmful practices and enable the delivery of multi-sectorial services; a strengthened evidence base to address inequality in policy advocacy on population and development, climate change, SRH and reproductive rights; and an improved policy environment to integrate population dynamics, health and social data into policies and programmes to advance human rights, redress inequalities and achieve equitable sustainable development goals.