(VOVworld) – The Ministry of Health launched the 2013 National Action Month on Population under the theme “Aging population – challenges in looking after the elderly” on Wednesday.
The Deputy Minister of Health, Nguyen Viet Tien, stressed that in recent years Vietnam’s population stability and family planning had seen significant achievements, with the average birth rate falling to 2 children per woman at the reproductive age in 2012, from 6.4 in 1960. The mortality rate of the mother and child has also decreased, while Vietnam’s life expectancy has risen from 40 in 1960 to 73 in 2012. Mr. Tien asked localities to push ahead with further activities and models in order to effect a proper intervention in population structure and quality: "We need to exert further our efforts to resolve the issue of an aging population and establish geriatric wards nationwide to meet the demands of health care for the elderly. It is necessary to build models of caring for seniors in families, communities and friendly recreation centers. There is a need to expand the coverage of pension and health insurance, and to increase social welfare and retirement pensions in order to solve the problem of poverty among the elderly, especially in remote and disadvantaged areas".