Within the framework of the project Preventing child marriage and addressing early pregnancy in Ethnic Minority communities of Son La Province, Vietnam, HealthBridge Vietnam provided training for 53 ethnic minority midwives and female village workers on adolescent reproductive health. Financial support for this project is provided by the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives.
To better support the health of ethnic minority adolescents, ethnic minority midwives and female village health workers were trained to provide adolescent-friendly reproductive health services and counselling, on gender equality concepts and implementing interventions at the community level. An ethnic minority midwife in Muong E Commune of Thuan Chau District, shared the following thoughts after participating in the ethnic minority midwifery training:
"We have learned a lot of new knowledge such as traits of adolescent psychophysiology, adolescent reproductive health counseling, and contraceptive methods. This is very interesting and useful for our work."
– Ethnic Minority Midwife, Ms. Nguyen Thi
Kim Quy, Centre for Disease Control Son La, lecturer of the training course describes the significance of the training for Son La province:
"This is the first time the Centre for Disease Control has conducted training on adolescent reproductive health for the female health workers at the village level. We are very happy and proud to see the ethnic minority midwives excitedly participating in the activity. The results after the training also made us very happy. Before the training, most of the participants had poor [pre-entry exam] results and after the training, 100% of them passed the exam. We hope that such training can be carried out to all other parts of the province."
Training ethnic minority midwives on adolescent reproductive health is a novel approach in Son La. The project aims to build capacity among village level workers to respond to the needs of adolescents, particularly related to reproductive health, with the ultimate goal of addressing high rates of early pregnancy and child marriage and promoting the health of adolescents.