Young people’s need for sexual and reproductive health

Overview

There are currently 24.6 million young people (aged 10-24) in Viet Nam, making up almost one-third of the entire population. This is the highest-ever percentage of young people in Viet Nam’s history. Young people’s success and well-being require targeted policies and services to allow them to reach their full potential, also in the area of sexual and reproductive health.

Overview

There are currently 24.6 million young people (aged 10-24) in Viet Nam, making up almost one-third of the entire population. This is the highest-ever percentage of young people in Viet Nam’s history. Young people’s success and well-being require targeted policies and services to allow them to reach their full potential, also in the area of sexual and reproductive health.

Evidence shows that Vietnamese young people are becoming sexually active at an earlier age. This highlights their need for reproductive health services and information. However, young people often face problems when they try to access these services and information. About 35% of young people who are not yet married, for example, have an unmet need for contraceptives. There is also a significant number of unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions among young people, especially unmarried adolescents (between the age of 15-19) and youth. Children born to adolescent mothers are more likely to die than those born to women in their twenties, and the risk of maternal death is also higher among adolescents. This is therefore an important issue for Viet Nam to focus on.

UNFPA’s Response

In order to specifically address young people's needs for sexual and reproductive health services, UNFPA works with the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Youth Union, the National Assembly’s Committee for Culture, Education, Youth, Adolescents and Children, CSOs, the private sector and young people themselves to strengthen implementation of the National Youth Development Strategy for 2011-2020. We focus on four areas:

  • Generating evidence on young people’s needs for sexual and reproductive health services, particularly among unmarried young people, young migrants and ethnic minority young people. This evidence will help the Government to develop appropriate policies and allocate sufficient budget to implement the policies.
  • Measuring the progress of the national youth development strategy and  ensuring it is put into operation through provincial plans of actions.
  • Improving the capacity of government agencies working in the area of young people and helping them to better coordinate with other sectors such as health, education and employment.
  • Promoting youth participation and engaging young people to oversee the development and implementation of youth specific policies and programmes.