Dr Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong, director of Tu Du Obstetrical Hospital, HCM City reported at the conference of women’s attitudes and behaviour on family planning that Vietnam has about 600,000 women die of pregnancy and birth delivery risks and 70,000 die from abortion. Tu Du Hospital alone receives over 30,000 cases of abortion and 45,000 cases of unwanted or planned births.
Dr Phuong says that family planning is no longer to be thought as abortion but contraceptive methods.
Diep Tu My and Nguyen Van Lo from HCM City’s Medical University report that their survey on 44 high school students in 2004 found out that up to 57.2% of students had no awareness on contraception methods, 23.2% admitted having love affairs, and 3.2% love sex, which was much higher than the rate of 2.5% in 2003, as reported by Hung Vuong Hospital.
Vietnam is looking to pull down the abortion rate to 25% in 2010.
Sociologists warn that pre marriage sex and before age-of-consent sex has been more popular among young people. Dr Phuong tells that in 2004, the hospital had 5,000 abortion seekers of less than 19 year girls.
The Ministry of Health (MoH) reports that in 2002, Vietnam had 572,425 abortion cases and 540,377 in 2003. The abortion rate played 52% against the birth rate nationwide. Southeast provinces have abortion cases rating for 80%. The MoH says that the abortion cases at private clinics may add one half or one third to the existing number.
HCM City is leading in the number of abortion cases at 112,426, followed by Hanoi with 48,140 and Can Tho 28,888 cases.
Dr Phuong promises that abortion before marriage and at young age may affect productive health of the women. Phuong says the hospital had to remove womb of an 18 year girl to save her when she was brought to the hospital with her abdomen full of pus due to back street abortion at a private clinic. The girl had her life back but would never give birth. She was lucky, Phuong says, because many others failed life for late aid.