Despite many great achievements in reducing malnutrition, infant mortality, and maternal mortality over the past decades, Vietnam still faces significant challenges related to maternal and child health and nutrition (MCHN). In 2019 the Scaling Up Nutrition Civil Society Alliance (SUN CSA) Vietnam was established to mobilize national and international civil society organizations working to improve nutrition in Vietnam and engage policymakers at the national and subnational levels and other stakeholders to sustain commitments in order to effectively tackle all forms of malnutrition.
SUN CSA Vietnam and its partner, Hai Phong Federation of Labour, undertook a project to promote sound maternal and child health and nutrition practices amongst factory workers. The goal of the project was to create a friendly environments and promote proper MCHN practices for female workers at 11 selected factories in Hai Phong, Vietnam. The project conducted educational sessions for female factory workers on MCHN practices and supported the establishment of dedicated lactation rooms with standardized facilities at 11 selected factories. The project also provided training courses on MNCH and counselling skills for service providers and the health staff of factories’ health clinics.
As a member and the Co-chair of SUN SCA Vietnam from 2019-2021, HealthBridge was responsible for conducting the baseline and endline data collection. The project. used both quantitative and qualitative surveys to investigate the current situation of MCHN knowledge, attitudes and practices of female workers in factories. The study also examined barriers to accessing MCNH services including the use of lactation rooms in factories as well as services for pre-natal care, during and after giving birth in female workers' medical facilities.
The project specifically aims to:
- Conduct educational communication sessions for female workers on maternal and child health and nutrition practices.
- Support the establishment of dedicated lactation rooms with standardized facilities at selected factories.
- Provide training courses on maternal and child health and nutrition practices, and counselling skills for service providers and health staff of factories’ health clinics.
- Collaborate with Hai Phong Federation of Labour and SUN networks to develop a technical handbook including guidelines on creating workplace lactation rooms and guidelines on breastfeeding for female workers.
- Share project’s lessons learned and best practices with other SUN groups.
- Increased % of female workers who access and use basic maternal and child health and nutrition (MCHN) services in An Duong district, Hai Phong city.
- Increased capacity of SUN CSA members.
- Lessons learnt and best practices are shared with other SUN networks in Vietnam, including government, UN, and business.
- Increased proportion of female workers who were able to list at least 3 danger signs during pregnancy.
- Enhanced knowledge of nutrition during pregnancy and ability to name all four food groups (protein, lipid, carbohydrate and vitamin).
- Improved proportion of female workers who believed that pregnant women should take supplements with iron/folic acid.
- Enhanced ability of female workers to name three danger signs among postpartum women and three danger signs for infants.
- Enhanced knowledge among female workers regarding correct information about early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding as well as increased ability to name the benefits of breastfeeding.
- Improved early breastfeeding and other breastfeeding practices.
- The proportion of female workers with correct knowledge of breastmilk storage and preservation increased.
- Increased proportion of female workers who could list healthy food groups that should be fed in a complementary manner to their infant and improved knowledge of the correct age a child should be introduced to complementary feeding.
- Increased proportion of female workers who accessed and used MCHN services.