Case Study

“Safe love, safe life” for workers at Hanes Brand

Reduce maternal and child mortalities via strengthening a sustainable social franchise network of both public and private SRH providers in Viet Nam.

Growing up in Dan Tien, a poor rural commune of Hung Yen province, Soa attached her life to rice cultivation after she graduated from the commune’s only secondary school. Exploring new opportunities, she worked for some small garment companies in Hung Yen province, a new industrial zone in Northern Vietnam, but she was not happy with working conditions. Things changed when HanesBrand, a 100% foreign owned garment factory, started operation in the area. Regular and stable income, social and health insurance provision are the reasons why Soa decided to work for this garment factory. She spent 8 hours per day in the factory, either 6am to 2pm or 2pm to 10pm every working day, and the rest of the time for cloth making, her-owned small business, to earn more living at home.
The nearest health facility is only 2 km from her house but Soa rarely used the services. Like other rural Vietnamese young women, Soa is hesitant to visit local healthcare station especially for reproductive health as she is shy and she does not trust the capacity of healthcare workers there. Soa never discussed with her husband, her family members or her colleagues in factory about reproductive health and family planning issue as she found it “too personal”. Soa came for gynecological examination only few times after she delivered her first child as for her, it was not necessary to spend money for “such things” and she found the examinations did not help her to solve the problem properly. Health workers just asked her to examine and did “some things” for her without explanation so she was not satisfied with the services and felt hesitant to come back.
When BlueStar came to Hanes Brand factory in early May 2014, Soa joined the information session “Safe love, Safe life” with other 500 female workers from her factory. Her manager encouraged and allowed Soa and others to join the event during the working day. “I took place in the meeting because others came and it was free of charge. But to my surprise, it was so fun and so informative. I learned a lot of useful information through plays and performances on the stage and then from the Q&A with BlueStar doctors.”
Soa, feeling uncomfortable about her health for some time, wanted to take opportunity of the free services provided by BlueStar for cervical cancer screening and reproductive health examination, so registered for a free heath check which attracted almost 1,400 female workers at the factory.
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