Dec 25, 2012

Vietnam - Workers in industrial parks need further help and consultation

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VietNamNet Bridge – Many companies in HCM City’s industrial parks and export processing zones have organized activities to help improve male workers’ knowledge on reproductive health, marriage and to improve their cultural and spiritual life.

To help female workers to know how to protect themselves, the trade union of Pou Yuen Company, in Binh Tan District, Ho Chi Minh City, holds several talks monthly on healthcare, contraception, the harms of abortion, etc.

"But they (female workers) live far from home and lack of entertainment facilities, so they cannot avoid stumbling and pitfalls," said Ms. Tran Ngoc Suong, chief of the clinic of Pou Yuen company.

Timely prevention

Suong said, once a female worker had fainted during work hours. The teammates took her to the company clinic for a medical examination. It turned out that the woman was 4 months pregnant. She cried a lot because she was only 20 years old, unmarried and did not know of her pregnancy.

She insisted to have an abortion. "I tried to help her understand that the baby was big and if she has an abortion it will be very dangerous and can cause later infertility,” Suong said.

Suong met the worker’s boyfriend to convince him to keep the baby. The two families then organized a wedding for them.

Female workers visiting the clinic with symptoms of abdominal pain are all provided with a pregnancy test. Once a worker went to the clinic with severe abdominal pain, doctors made a pregnant test, which determined that the woman was already pregnant. Putting on the ultrasound, the worker had a broken fetus out of the worm. Thanks to quick emergency aid at the nearest hospital, the worker was saved.

To prevent negative consequences that can occur from the lack of understanding about reproductive health, the trade union of Freetrend company in the Linh Trung 1 export processing zone regularly organizes talks on reproductive health, safe sex and delivers free condoms for workers.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Nga, a leader of the company trade union said that the box of condoms is always available in the office of the trade union for the use of workers. Initially, they were shy but now the box is always empty.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Phuong Ai, Deputy Director of the Reproductive Health Advisory Clinic of Marie Stopes International Vietnam (MSIVN) in Binh Duong, said that when workers came to the clinic for examination or counseling, consulting experts provided them with information about contraceptives, but there are many workers who were unintentionally pregnant several times.

Ai said that to raise awareness about reproductive health for workers, MSIVN has coordinated with the HCM City Youth Union to organize free gynecological examinations and consultation for female workers in industrial zones in HCM City. The program began in April 2012.

Many activities to attract workers

Mr. Huynh Ngo Tinh, Director of the Support Center for Workers in HCM City, said to create conditions for young couples who are in difficulties, the center annually holds the collective wedding ceremony. In 2011, the center held an impressive ceremony for 80 couples.

These coupes were presented with an ATM card with VND2 million ($100) in account, one pair of wedding rings, one wedding party table, two wedding costumes, a wedding album worth VND3.5 million. In addition, the brides and grooms were also provided with wedding cars, wedding cakes, photography, film, makeup, etc. In particular, they participated in a pre-marriage class.

This year, the center just organized a wedding for 120 couples on December 12.

In early 2012, the Ho Chi Minh City Youth Union in collaboration with the Department of Health organized the "volunteer program for public health." The program provided reproductive health consultation and screening to over 4,000 workers and free health care, free medication and free medicines to 20,000 workers.

In addition, the Ho Chi Minh City Youth Union organized a program "Being with young female workers" to provide them with defense skills; psychological, marriage, family consultation; reproductive health advice, nutrition, prevention of diseases, common diseases; free medical and drug allocation.

Mr. Nguyen Van Quang, deputy director of the Center for Social Affairs of the HCM City Labor Federation, said the focus of the center in 2012 was providing knowledge on reproductive health and safe sex to workers.

The Fund for Workers of HCM City also organized points of sale that supply cheap goods, free games and music shows, free phone calls, etc for workers.

Mr. Tran Thien Long, Deputy Director of the Fund, said: "The introduction of free playgrounds, attractive activities will attract workers to help them have a healthy spiritual and cultural life. They will no longer feel lonely and do not fall in love in a hurry."


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