30 Nov 2010 14:57

Effects of demographic decline of 1990s to be felt for long time - Medvedev

MOSCOW. Nov 30 (Interfax) - An effective "child welfare policy" is needed, President Dmitry Medvedev said.

"We have concentrated on the demographic problem seriously and for long, but we must understand that the demographic decline of the 1990s will continue making itself felt in the coming 15 years," Medvedev said in his State of the Nation address to the Federal Assembly on Tuesday.

The number of women of reproductive age decreased considerably during that period, "this is a serious threat and challenge for our nation," Medvedev said.

It is "vitally important" to pursue an effective child-welfare policy, he also said.

"We must make quality medical and social aid more accessible to mothers and children, and promote the maternity certificate program, as well as the system for rehabilitating underweight infants," Medvedev said.

Also, state support must be provided for infertility treatment programs, including with the use of in vitro fertilization, he said.