Marie Stopes Vietnam

Marie Stopes Anniversary Star: Ms Nguyen Thi Le

As part of our 40th Anniversary celebrations, over the coming weeks Open Door News will be profiling some of our longest-serving team members and acknowledging the contribution they have made to MSI’s success.

This week, our Marie Stopes 40th Anniversary Star is Ms Nguyen Thi Le, who has been working with Marie Stopes Vietnam for more than a decade, most recently as the director of its Binh Duong clinic.
 
 Ms Le joined Marie Stopes Vietnam in 2005, when she became Centre Manager for the programme’s first ever clinic in Binh Duong’s industrial zone. The clinic was established as part of a partnership between Marie Stopes Vietnam and sportswear manufacturer Adidas, with the aim of improving sexual and reproductive health among female factory workers in the province.
 
In Vietnam, garment and shoe manufacturing is a vital industry within the local economy. The vast majority of workers in these factories are women, many of whom have migrated from other regions seeking employment. A large proportion of the young women in the factories have travelled from remote or rural areas, where access to information on sexual health and contraception remanins limited. This makes them vulnerable to unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.
 
Since the clinic was established, Ms Le and her team have worked tirelessly to serve female factory workers in Binh Duong province. With excellent inter-personal skills and a warm smile, Ms Le has become a firm favourite among the factory workers, who refer to her as “Marie Stopes Doctor”. She always manages to secure the vital support of local health authorities and the factory owners themselves, who greatly value the service she provides.
 
Alongside her work in the garment factories, Ms Le has set up a successful counter referral network across the province, through which general practitioners from public and private health facilities refer clients to Marie Stopes Vietnam, contributing a significant increase in new clients.
 
As a result of her success in managing the clinic in Binh Duong, Ms Le was also appointed Centre Manager for the clinic in the neighbouring province of Dong Nai. Despite the pressures of managing two busy clinics simultaneously, she does her best to make sure both clinics continue to thrive.
 
When asked what she enjoys most about her work, Ms Le talks about the assurance she can provide to clients who have not accessed services before. “Having the opportunity to work with many workers, I realized that they have few chances to access quality family planning information and services. My colleagues and I work hard to find ways to break the ice, their shyness, hesitance and initial preconceptions about our mobile clinic".
 
“I always remind colleagues in my clinics that enthusiasm alone is not enough. Besides enthusiasm, we must constantly update our knowledge to give the clients the best services, and build their trust.
 
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