VIETNAM – Authority in Vinh Phuc Province organises a course on reproductive health for young people

Teenagers having early sexual intercourse have a higher risk of sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancy, and unsafe abortion.

According to the General Department of Population and Family Planning under the Ministry of Health, Vietnam, preliminary statistics show that up to 30% of children in the 13-17 age group have ever had sex, and more adolescents have engaged in early sexual activities for the first time. They have engaged in early sex without proper knowledge about reproductive health; as a result, the rate of unplanned pregnancy among teenagers accounts for about 20% of all pregnancies in the country.

According to the United Nations Population Fund in Vietnam, globally an estimated 800,000 girls under the age of 15 give birth every year, mainly in low- and middle-income countries. In addition, every year, there are at least 10 million unintended pregnancies among adolescents aged 15-19 years in developing countries, and 3.9 million adolescents in developing countries underwent unsafe abortions.

According to a recent national survey on reproductive and sexual health in Vietnam, only 17.4% of adolescents and young adults correctly understood when a woman could get pregnant and 25.9% of them know how to use condoms when having sex.

Statistics from the Department of Maternal and Child Health under the Ministry of Health showed that the country has 300,000-400,000 abortions at the age of 15-19 yearly on average. According to the General Department of Population and Family Planning, although the abortion rate in Vietnam has decreased in the past 10 years, the abortion rate among adolescents and young adults has been increasing, accounting for more than 20% of abortions.

SOURCE: Saigon Giai Phong Online, by Minh Khang, Translated by Anh Quan, 21 February 2023