Facing an increasing population and high levels of maternal mortality, Viet Nam has announced that December 2011 will be a national month of population planning. During the month, various activities and forums will be held nationwide to increase awareness of population planning activities, especially in remote areas. In November, the Prime Minister of Viet Nam has approved the national strategic population plan and the reproductive health development plan for 2011-20. Viet Nam hopes to lower the population growth rate to around 1% from the current 1.2%. The aim is to reduce the maternal mortality rate due to pregnancy-related problems to 58.3/100,000 babies by 2015 and below 52/100,000 in 2020.
In addition, the government has stated that efforts must be made to lower the death rate of children under 5 from drowning. The target is 19.3% in 2015 and below 16% in 2020. The plan also includes improving the reproductive health of migrants, people with disabilities, HIV-infected individuals, ethnic minorities and victims of domestic violence and natural disasters. There appears to be no mention of Viet Nam’s much-debated and controversial 2-child policy. Success in family planning requires significant investment in services, including provision of short term and contraceptive methods, supported by communications interventions that address established social norms, including the role of men in the family’s reproductive health.