GSK in partnership with Save The Children improves maternal and newborn healthcare services in Yen Bai province

Ha Noi, 8/12/2016 - GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in partnership with Save the Children announced the joint healthcare project of $356,000 over three years in Yen Bai Province. The project aims at enhancing healthcare services for mothers and newborns in ethnic minorities, hence minimizing the mortality rates in this province.

Research conducted by Save the Children in 2014 in six communes of Tram Tau District, Yen Bai, shows that up to 91% of women gave birth at home without skilled birth attendance1. This is in contrast to a survey by MCIS Vietnam in the same year, which stated that, in the last two years, 93.8% of national births were attended by skilled health personnel2. This area is therefore being left behind from progress that is being made nationally.

The reasons behind this disparity include a lack of utilities and healthcare services, as well as limited knowledge about maternal and newborn health practices of people in the remote areas, especially those in the central highlands and Northen Delta, including Yen Bai Province.

In response to this challenge, Save the Children has been working with the Ministry of Health since 2013 and also three Vietnamese Medical Universities to implement a maternal and newborn child health project using the Household to Hospital Continuum of Care (HHCC) approach. This project is carried out in 3 three provinces Yên Bái, Đắc lắc and Cà Mau. Through integrating community outreach and effective referral, the provision of essential equipment and supplies, and strengthening the capacity of facility-based staff through training, there has been an increase in the use and quality of maternal and newborn health services amongst ethnic minority populations. Now, with the support from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Save the Children will be able to build on the success of this project to further increase demand and utilisation of basic maternal and newborn care services. Together, we will be supporting work in 12 commune health centres.

In addition to the support from GSK, the project is in cooperation with Ministry of Health, Vietnam National Hospital of Pediatrics, National Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. This will build sustainability and ensure that this work continues to have an impact after the end of the project.

“In Viet Nam, about 18,000 newborn babies die every year3. This situation is even more serious in remote areas where it is hard to have advanced health conditions. In fact, most cases in newborn mortality can be interfered by very simple methods such as expertise support from the medical staff and healthcare services when mothers give birth and educating them with basic knowledge on newborn care. It is the reason why the project Saving children’s lives in vulnerable communities with the goal of improving healthcare quality and raising awareness of maternal and newborn care is considered as a practical method that helps reducing mortality rate in newborns and ensuring each child coming to the world are all safe and heatlthy”, said Dragana Strinic, Country Director, Save the Children Vietnam.

Mr. James Strenner, Chief Representative of GSK Pte Ltd in Vietnam commented: “Improving access to healthcare is a priority for GSK. To fulfill this vision, GSK together with partners, is working to implement innovative, replicable and sustainable solutions. The Maternal and Newborn Care project, delivered by Save the Children and agencies, demonstrates the ceaseless efforts of these organizations to help save the lives of more mothers and children, especially those living in remote areas of Vietnam.”

Dr. Luong Kim Duc, Vice director of Yen Bai department of Healthfrom Yen Bai Provinces also commented: “Currently, minority ethnic mothers and newborns are considered the most vulnerable group in the provincial area. Most of these groups have difficulties to get access to healthcare services due to many factors: inadequate living conditions, limited transportation, dissatisfying health infrastructure as well as limited knowledge about mothers and newborn care. Through the project, we hope mothers and newborn health in the province will be changed positively, and we can minimise the number of women and children dying unessessarily. We hope the success of this project can be expanded to other areas of Viet Nam in the future.”

The three-year project will achieve four objectives:

-       Increase community awareness on healthy maternal and newborn practices and create demand for the available services.

-       Increase availability, accessibility, and utilisation of basic maternal and newborn care services in commune health facilities

-       Improve two Newborn Care Units (NBCU) in Nghia Lo general hospital and Tram Tau district hospital

-       Establish Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) Units in district and provincial  hospitals

This project is part of GSK and Save the Children’s innovative, shared value partnership that is combining the two organisations’ global expertise, skills and energy to tackle the ambitious goal of helping to save one million children’s lives.

About GSK – one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.  For further information please visit

About Save the Children

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In the UK and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share. Save the Children has been operational in Vietnam since 1990.

[1] Save the Children, Household to Hospital Continuum of Care (HHCC) project baseline survey on home delivery, 2014. 182 out of 200 women interviewed reported having given birth at home with no skilled attendant present.

[2] Trang 158, Báo cáo MICS Việt Nam 2014

[3] Báo cáo của UNICEF, WHO, WB, UN – Mức độ và xu hướng Tử vong trẻ em, 2011