Along with the emerging economy, many international garment corporations have moved their production to Myanmar mainly because of low-priced wages and favorable trading conditions. In a Myanmar garment industry, many of the garment factory workers come from the underserved countryside to the city peripherals to find job, residing with no electricity and clean running water supply. Additionally, many factory workers lack knowledge of healthy behaviors and practices of physical well-being. Financial insecurity compounded by low educational status influences the negative attitude towards the healthcare behaviors.
KT Care Foundation takes action on this issue along with its partner institution Business Social Responsibility (BSR) Organization. In March 2017, KT Care Foundation started organizing maternal, reproductive health and hygiene awareness raising trainings, campaigns and discussion sessions at the Mila Garden Factory located at Hlegu Township. According to the Health Needs Assessment (HNA), the priority health education subjects were identified and so far “Personal Hygiene” and “Healthy Diet, Nutritious Foods” topics have been delivered to the representative peer facilitators of the factory through four educational trainings including two inceptives courses and two refresher sessions.
One of the female factory workers; Ma Thae Thae Mon stated that she did not know the main causes of diarrhea associated communicable diseases beforehand but now she knows clearly the connection between personal hygiene and diarrheal diseases as well as the preventive measures upon completion of the KT Care trainings.
Many of the reproductive aged women working in the factory have very limited knowledge of maternal and reproductive health including antenatal, natal and post natal care. The trainings and follow-up awareness raising sessions organized by KT Care Foundation along with its trained peer facilitators will enable the uninformed female factory workers to gain knowledge on women‘s health and pregnancy care.
Ma Myat Su Mon; is one of the KT Care trained peer facilitators and she used to conduct 10 minutes participatory peer education session on “personal hygiene and negative consequences of inappropriate hygiene behaviors” for her workmates during their work break. She highlighted that sharing the important knowledge and experience with her coworkers is her blessing and she is very delighted to be a peer facilitator and receive the trainings from KT Care Foundation.
KT Care Foundation is one of the pioneer organizations providing the healthcare integrated awareness raising services to the garment factory workers of Myanmar. The foundation is proceeding to extend its activities in many other garment factories as the current efforts at the Mila Garden Factory are highly effective for the factory workers with limited resources of healthcare, education and income.