Ha Noi, 10 April, 2012 – A ceremony to mark ten years of collaboration between the Viet Nam Family Planning Association (VINAFPA), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Government of Luxemburg was held today in Ha Noi to close the project on "Strengthening the accessibility and quality of reproductive health care with focus on safe motherhood, adolescent reproductive health and reproductive rights". This collaborative effort has helped Vietnamese people, youth and adolescents in the project sites acquire the skills necessary to develop and sustain healthy and happy lives, particularly in areas with unmet needs for sexual and reproductive health including family planning, emphasized the VINAFPA, UNFPA and the Government of Luxemburg.
Running from October 2007 to May 2012, the project has been implemented in the four provinces of Quang Ninh, Hue, Nghe An and Can Tho by the VINAFPA, with technical assistance from UNFPA and financial support provided by the Government of Luxemburg.
The main focus of the project has been to provide sexual and reproductive health knowledge and life skills for Vietnamese people in remote and mountainous areas, youth and adolescents before starting their own family. During the last five years, the project has also supported behaviour change communication activities that promote gender equality, prevent gender-based and domestic violence, improve women’s status in the family and society and promote men’s responsibilities. In addition, many awareness-raising activities have been organized with active participation from people, youth and adolescents to equip them with information and knowledge related to pregnancy, family planning, reproductive health and prevention of HIV and AIDS.
Speaking at the event, Dr. Nguyen Thien Truong, Standing Vice President of VINAFPA, expressed his appreciation for the support from UNFPA and the Government of Luxemburg to improve access to quality and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education and services for Vietnamese people, youth and adolescents as well as to improve the capacity of VINAFPA staff at national and sub-national levels on reproductive health care, including family planning work.
"One of the greatest achievements of the project is that we have witnessed active participation and support from local authorities in delivering sexual and reproductive health care services including family planning, especially in remote and mountainous areas. Our main challenge will be to sustain the achievements we have gained so far, and continue these activities into the future," said Dr. Truong.
While the project will be phased out in May 2012, the model on “Integration of sexual and reproductive health communication and counseling in marriage registration ceremonies” initiated by VINAFPA during the implementation will be scaled up to 2,000 other communes and wards throughout the country during 2012, with support from provincial budgets.
Mr. Bruce Campbell, UNFPA Representative in Viet Nam, emphasized that with the strong foundation created over the past ten years, VINAFPA has developed to become one of the most effective actors in the field of reproductive health and family planning.
"Although technical assistance will be phased out in May 2012, we are optimistic that these achievements will be sustained and further applied to other provinces so that more vulnerable women, men and young people and adolescents, whether from urban or rural areas, or from majority or minority ethnic groups, will have access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care services," said Mr. Campbell.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Marc Franck, Chargé d‘Affaires a.i. of the Luxembourg Embassy in Ha Noi, thanked VINAFPA for their significant contribution in promoting quality reproductive health and family planning services and encouraged VINAFPA to stay strongly committed in the years to come with a particular focus on vulnerable groups.
“I would like to encourage VINAFPA to put a strong future focus on Vietnam’s poorest provinces and districts and continue to address mother and child health care, reproductive health care for the poor and those men and women in remote areas. I encourage VINAFPA to specifically support vulnerable adolescents and unmarried youth and promote gender equality,” said Mr. Franck.
VINAFPA, UNFPA and the Government of Luxemburg called for more joint efforts from relevant government ministries and international organizations as well as civil society organizations in promoting the rights of Vietnamese people in remote and mountainous areas, youth and adolescents to reproductive health education, information and care and ensuring their needs are prioritized in health policies and programmes in the coming years.
For further information, please contact:
Dr. Nguyen Thien Truong
VINAFPA Standing Vice President
Tel: (84-4) 3764 8128
Mob: (84-4) 913201147
Ms Nguyen Thi Hong Thanh
UNFPA Communications Officer
Tel: (84-4) 3822 4383 – Ext: 117
Mob: 091 309 3363