Healthy Women, Healthy Workplace is 17-month project funded by GSK and implemented by CARE International in Cambodia to strengthen the capacity of frontline health providers, factory training teams and infirmary staff to independently provide high quality and relevant health services to women in garment factories.
Srey Mom of Kampong Thom province has worked in the garment industry for seven years at the Hand Seven factory. She has four siblings, and, at 28 years old, is the eldest in the family.
Currently she is a supervisor, and lives in a rented room near the factory. In 2016, Srey Mom married a construction worker and by 2018, she was expecting her first child.
During her pregnancy, Srey Mom frequently visited the health centre and consulted with factory infirmary staff, who gave her advice on maternal health using information from flipbook and the Healthy Mother app. Infirmary staff recommended that she eat plenty of nutritious foods such as vegetables, fish, meat and eggs. They also advised her to drink at least two litres of water a day, to take iron supplements, to have regular check-ups, and to chose a health centre for giving birth.
After receiving medical advice from the infirmary, Srey Mom changed her habits. She ate more nutritious food and made sure she got enough rest and drank plenty of fluids each day. She attended monthly check-ups at the health centre, prepared maternity supplies and talked with her husband about where to go to give birth.
After giving birth, Srey Mom thought she would only breastfeed for three months, but changed her mind after attending training programs and ‘Lucky Mother’ video screenings on maternal health and nutrition run by the factory training team. The video made her realise the benefits of breastfeeding for longer. Srey Mom decided to breastfeed her daughter until she was 14-months-old. Her daughter is now 21 months old and in good health.
Having gained such knowledge and benefits, Srey Mom has decided that next time she becomes pregnant, she will breastfeed her baby and follow the same healthy lifestyle. She has also shared her newfound knowledge with her line members and other workers. She encourages workers to consult with factory infirmary staff if they have any questions related to reproductive health, maternal health and nutrition and to participate in CARE’s training programs as they offer a lot of beneficial information on maintaining good health.
Through the Healthy Women, Healthy Workplace project, CARE will continue to coach and support factory training teams to deliver training on maternal health and nutrition to factory workers.
CARE will also work with infirmary staff to improve the services they deliver. In addition, the project will prepare line ministers (Municipality of Health Department, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training) to take over responsibility for health services in garment factories.