|The programmes conducted by the GOPFP and Bayer Vietnam have helped more than 25 million women around the country choose safe and appropriate birth control methods.|
HCM CITY – Bayer Vietnam has received a Certificate of Merit for its contributions to education programmes in reproductive health and modern contraception for Vietnamese women at an event titled “Implementing family planning for the health and happiness of each family as well as the country’s development” organised by the Government Office of Family Planning.
Held to celebrate the 2022 World Contraception Day, the event sought to raise awareness of voluntary family planning and underlined the importance of empowering young people to learn about sexual and reproductive health and to talk openly about it with healthcare providers and partners.
Worldwide, the number of unintended pregnancies remains stubbornly high. Almost half of all pregnancies that occur each year are unintended, and during the two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, women and girls' sexual and reproductive health and rights have been severely affected.
At the same time some 218 million women living in low- and middle-income countries have an unmet need for modern contraception - they want to prevent unplanned pregnancies but are not using any form of contraception or are using traditional methods that are less effective.
The persisting myths and misperceptions about modern contraception are also barriers.
A study done by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 36 countries found that two-thirds of sexually active women who wished to delay or limit childbearing stopped using contraception for fear of side-effects, health concerns and underestimation of the likelihood of conception.
This led to a high percentage of pregnancies being unintended.
In Việt Nam, during the last six years, Bayer has been collaborating with the General Office for Population and Family Planning (GOPFP) to implement various communication programmes and provide women, especially adolescent girls, with accurate information about a range of contraceptive methods while addressing misconceptions and encouraging them to proactively take their reproductive and sexual health into their own hands.
The programmes conducted by the two parties between 2016 and 2020 included ‘As a woman, I choose to live proactively,’ the online contest ‘Understanding contraception,’ the ‘Let’s compose inspirational stories’ contest, and the mobile app ‘Be proactive in life,’ which helped more than 25 million women around the country receive direct advice from population officials on how to choose safe birth control methods and avoid unplanned pregnancies.
Building on this momentum, the second phase of the ‘Family Planning Communication Programme for Public Health’ (2021-2025), will utilise digital platforms to promote the rights of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children and improve Vietnamese women’s knowledge of reproductive health based on national strategies and programmes.
Ingo Brandenburg, general director of Bayer Vietnam, said: “Our aim is both to increase awareness of self-determined family planning and safeguard the availability and affordability of modern contraceptives.
“With a history of 160 years of innovation and as a leader in women’s health, Bayer works to develop innovative medications and new therapeutic approaches that help make a difference to women’s lives, offering a wide range of effective short- and long-acting birth control methods as well as therapies for menopause management and gynaecological diseases, including endometriosis.
We commit to further strengthening the collaboration with the GOPFP to help Vietnamese women take control of their own health to reach their full potential in life.”
Globally, Bayer has pledged its commitment until 2030 to providing 100 million women, especially in low- and middle-income countries, with access to modern contraception to make informed choices by funding multi-stakeholder aid programmes and ensuring the supply of affordable modern contraceptives.
This is part of the comprehensive sustainability measures and commitments from 2020 onwards and in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
As well as being associated with increased risk of maternal health complications, unintended pregnancies can also lead to cycles of high fertility, as well as lower educational and employment potential and poverty – challenges which can span generations. Self-determined family planning with unrestricted access to contraceptives and knowing how to protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases are essential to build a healthier and better future for women as well as the community in general.
“Implementing effective family planning continues to be the important goals of the GOPFP, especially improving the quality of family planning services, making access convenient and pleasant to affordable contraception methods and services for all people, especially ethnic minorities and people living in remote areas, gradually eliminating differences in access to family planning services between different geographical regions,” Nguyễn Doãn Tú, its director, said.
For 16 years World Contraception Day (WCD) has been celebrated on September 26 and marks the annual highlight of the ongoing communication of the Your Life campaign.
It is a well-established official awareness day that puts sexual rights and contraception in focus in more than 70 countries at the political, media and public levels.