Press releases

The “Business Partnership” initiative to improve health outcomes for 45,000 factory workers in Vietnam

The “Business partnership” initiative, which aims to improve awareness and enhance access to essential reproductive health and family planning for 45,000 factory workers of Pou Yuen factory, Pou Chen Vietnam Corporation, has been officially opened today, 9th June 2017, in Ho Chi Minh City. Partners participating in this initiative include The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Pou Yuen factory, Pou Chen Vietnam Corporation, Marie Stopes International Vietnam (MSV), and the strategic partner Vietnam Center for Community Reproductive Health (VNCRH).

In this initiative, MSV worked closely with Pou Yuen factory to establish a Bluestar corner that meets the Marie Stopes’ global standard for social franchisees. The Bluestar corner will provide high quality essential reproductive health and family planning services for female workers, combined with communication for awareness raising and demand generation. Service providers of the Pou Yuen factory clinic will be trained in providing consultations, infection prevention, family planning service provision, service quality, and customer care to improve the quality of services at the factory.

The establishment of the Bluestar corner at the Pou Yuen factory general clinic is anticipated to contribute to reducing the rate of female workers who hare absent from work in order to receive services outside of the factory, which will in turn increase productivity, reduce absence for medical reasons,  reduce spending for health care and reduce the time needed for receiving health services outside of the factory. It is estimated that about 45,000 of the almost 85,000 female workers of the factory will have access to quality reproductive health and family planning information and services inside of the factory as a result of this initiative.

The “Business Partnership for Health” initiative, funded by the Australian Government, with match funding from Pou Yuen factory, is one of the first programs under Australian Government’s Business Partnership Platform, which aims to establish a partnerships based on “shared values” with the private sector. Value sharing of  policies and practices aims to improve the competitive advantages while also improving the social and environmental conditions in place. It is an operational strategy focusing on creating quantifiable economic values through recognizing and addressing social issues that relate to the business.

Associate Prof. Dr. Pham Le Tuan – Vice Minister of Health delivering speech at the Launchinig Ceremony

Present at the launching ceremony were representatives of Vietnam Social Insurance, General Office for Population and Family Planning, Department of Maternal and Child Health – Ministry of Health, a representative of the Australian Government, relevant departments of Ho Chi Minh City, major brands, local and international non-governmental organizations, and factory workers.

Marie Stopes International Vietnam and Pou Chen Vietnam Corporation has continuously partnered since 2006 in educational reproductive health service provision for female factory worker programs. These programs have gained remarkable achievements in improving health status and social welfare for female workers in 7 factories of the corporation in Vietnam. These successes have provided opportunities for both organizations in scaling up this partnership for sustainable impacts in this Health Partnership initiative.

Recent surveys conducted by Marie Stopes International Vietnam has pointed out the unmet need of female factory worker for reproductive health services, specifically:

  • 1 in 5 pregnancy of factory workers were unwanted.
  •  About 40% female workers quit after having a baby
  • Over two-thirds of the factory workers had reproductive tract infections, but only 50% went to a healthcare facility for treatment.
  • The majority of pregnant workers (96%) are interested in receiving prenatal care services inside of the factory.

This “Partnership for Health” Initiative is a wonderful combination of advantage, strategic concern and technical capacity of government agencies, local and international non-governmental organizations, and especially private company with the large scale of production to create quantifiable value for all involved. I expect that this initiative will succeed, which will open up opportunities for the enterprises to see the economic benefits of conducting social and environmental initiatives, as business and social responsibility are inseparable in making a better society”, said Ms. Nguyen Thi Bich Hang, Country Director of Marie Stopes International Vietnam.

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