Marie Stopes Vietnam and Việt Nam Centre for Reproductive Health last week kicked off the third phase of BlueStar network, the country’s first social franchising model for sexual and reproductive health and family planning services.— Photo bluestar.org.vn
HCM CITY (VNS) — Marie Stopes Việt Nam (MSV) in co-operation with the Việt Nam Centre for Reproductive Health last week kicked off the third phase of BlueStar network, the country’s first social franchising model for sexual and reproductive health and family planning services.
The BlueStar network started in 2008 with a pilot of 32 franchisees using the global MSI BlueStar model to increase availability to quality sexual and reproductive health services in private clinics, said Nguyễn Thị Bích Hằng, country director of MSV.
"Its target population is underserved, are usually low-income men and women of reproductive age," Hằng said.
More than 200 private healthcare providers in Hà Nội, HCM City, Hải Phòng, and the provinces of Khánh Hòa, Bình Dương, Đồng Nai and An Giang have joined the franchising model.
More than 1.7 million clients have received sexual and reproductive health services at BlueStar franchised clinics, with one-fourth of the clients under 24 years old.
More than 70 per cent of clients were low-income men and women of reproductive age.
BlueStar franchisees have provided more than 864,000 safe abortion cases.
A lack of options and low awareness about contraceptives is considered an important reason for Việt Nam’s high abortion rates, which is 2.5 per women per lifetime, according to MSV’s report.
An estimated 20-30 per cent of all abortion cases are young, unmarried women, the report said.
Franchisees receive training, on-site technical assistance, and help in branding and marketing to promote their practice.
As part of the franchise agreement, providers must commit to membership standards, including regular quality assurance monitoring and reporting.
Established in 1989, MSV was one of the first international non-government organisations to work in the field of sexual productive health and family planning.
Marie Stopes International is a UK-based non-profit that delivers a range of services, including family planning, safe abortion and post-abortion care, and services for patients diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections. — VNS