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On-site reproductive, family planning services improve female factory workers’ health, productivity

Update: September, 21/2018 - 17:43
A female worker receives sexual and reproductive services as well as family planning information through BlueStar clinic, located inside the Pou Yuen factory in HCM City’s Bình Tân District. — Photo
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — More than 27,000 female workers have been provided information about sexual and reproductive healthcare and family planning as the result of the Business Partnership Platform (BPP) funded by the Australian government.

A dissemination workshop was held today at Pou Yuen Co., Ltd in Tân Tạo Industrial Zone in the city’s Bình Tân District to share the impact and key findings from November 2016 to June 2018.

The project’s aims including improving the health and well-being of Pou Chen Group’s predominantly female workforce by enhancing the provision of specialist sexual and reproductive healthcare on-site at its Pou Yuen factory.

Nguyễn Trọng Hậu, director of the initiative, said nearly 80,000 workers at the factory have accessed reproductive and family planning information and services through the on-site BlueStar clinic, located inside the factory since 2016.

The BPP initiative has helped more than 7,900 female workers access on-site healthcare services, and over 850 workers have avoided unintended pregnancies.

Service quality has also been improved through clinical and service training for 38 health staff at the factory; clinical supervision; and a client-centered clinic offering safe, confidential, and non-judgmental service.

As a result, the number of clinic visits has increased tenfold, reaching an average of up to 2,000 clients per month in 2018, Hậu said.

Trần Thị Thu Hiền, 24, a worker at the factory, 24, said: “Now I don’t need to go to the hospital because BlueStar has all the services that I need, and the doctors are very good and friendly. It’s also very convenient for me to save a lot of time and money.”

The project has also incorporated a wide range of education and communications activities, reaching over 90 per cent of female workers, and has provided comprehensive counseling to allow women to make the most appropriate contraceptive choice.

“Last time I chose an intra-uterine device because it was the only long-term family planning method that I knew. When I visited the BlueStar clinic, doctors provided counseling and answered all my questions. I decided to choose the contraceptive implant,” Phạm Thị Thu Hương, a worker in Pou Yuen factory, said.

In addition, a network of workers representatives was trained as peer educators to provide SRH information to female workers, and gained leadership and communications skills.

Củ Phát Nghiệp, the factory’s chairman of the trade union, said there were many other useful activities, especially the worker representative programme and communications sessions by Marie Stopes International Việt Nam, which enhanced knowledge about reproductive services and increased productivity.

The worker health programme in Việt Nam has shown impressive results, especially compared to other countries in the region, according to Nguyễn Bích Hằng, Country Representative of Marie Stopes in Việt Nam.

She said that success had resulted from three main factors: understanding of worker’s needs, quality and comprehensive SRH services, and dedication to improving gender equality.

“I hope the project will be able to continue to contribute to and support many more female factory workers to access high-quality sexual and reproductive health care, leverage business benefits and demonstrate social responsibility," she said.

Headquartered in the UK, Marie Stopes International (MSI) is a leading international non-governmental organisation providing sexual and reproductive health and family planning services, working in 37 countries across six continents.

In 2016, MSI served over 25 million women globally, generating over 32 million couple years of protection.

Marie Stopes International Việt Nam was established in 1989 and has been working closely with government agencies and non-governmental organisations to implement sexual and reproductive health and family planning programmes across the country. — VNS


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