Holiday Newsletter 2020 | View online

Holiday Message from the Executive Director

As we near the end of 2020, we can't help but look back on the year and recognize how this year has come with a unique set of challenges for our work. The COVID-19 pandemic, and the shadow pandemics of food insecurity, gender-based violence and poverty have impacted our work and the communities which we work with. We have adapted to many of these challenges through staying connected, virtually, with our partners around the world, to ensure our work is still supporting vulnerable people and communities. 

Despite continuing challenges, along with our partners, we continue to improve the health and nutrition of vulnerable populations, make cities more livable, prevent non-communicable diseases and strengthen maternal and child health outcomes. Now more than ever, we are grateful to our partners around the world, who develop meaningful relationships within the communities we work and facilitate impactful, lasting change.

And of course, we are thankful to you. Thank you for following our progress and supporting us and our partners along the way. We hope you enjoy reading our latest update. We wish you a very healthy and happy holiday season, and look forward to staying connected in 2021.

Sian FitzGerald, Executive Director
on behalf of the HealthBridge team

Successes from the "Strengthening Health Systems and Improving Nutrition in Nepal and Vietnam" project

The project ‘Strengthening Health Systems and Improving Nutrition in Nepal and Vietnam’ was implemented in rural and remote areas of Son La province, Vietnam and Banke District, Nepal from 2016 until the end of November 2020. The project aimed to improve the health and nutritional status of mothers and children under-2 using a health systems strengthening approach. It worked with local partners, International Nepal Fellowship and Center for Creative Initiatives in Health and Population, and together, the project marked several key achievements such as:
  • In Vietnam
    • The proportion of births at a health facility increased by 25%
    • The percentage of women who gave birth at home assisted by a trained birth attendant, including Ethnic Minority Midwives, improved by 7x
  • In Nepal:
    • The proportion of men and family members who knew three danger signs during pregnancy, the postpartum period and of childhood illness all nearly doubled
    • The percentage of women who prepared a birth kit during their last pregnancy improved by 16%
We invite you to explore the project brief for details on activities and outcomes. To learn more about the advocacy and dissemination activities in Vietnam related to the project, please read an impact story about HealthBridge Vietnam’s National Dissemination Meeting. Additionally, read the rapid assessment of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated control measures on Ethnic Minority mothers and children in Son La province of Vietnam. 
READ MORE: Final Project Brief
READ MORE: Impact Story - Vietnam's National Dissemination Meeting
READ MORE: Rapid Assessment Executive Summary

HealthBridge launches a new Adolescent Reproductive Health and Gender Equality project in Son La, Vietnam

In August 2020, HealthBridge Vietnam and six junior high schools in Son La province, Vietnam, launched a new project aimed at preventing child marriage and early childbearing, as well as ensuring quality health services for pregnant adolescents and their children. This project is undertaken with the financial support of the Embassy of Canada to Vietnam provided through Canada Fund for Local Initiatives and UNIFOR Social Justice Fund.

The overall goal of this project is to contribute to reducing the incidence of child marriage and to support already married children in ethnic minority communities in Son La Province. The project considers the local context, and the primary goal of reducing child marriage will be connected to broader gender, nutrition and health goals. As part of the project, ethnic minority midwives are receiving training to deliver adolescent-friendly services. The project builds upon the successes and learnings from the adolescent reproductive health component of the ‘Strengthening Health Systems and Improving Nutrition in Nepal and Vietnam’ project. Read the impact story linked below to learn more.

READ MORE: HealthBridge Vietnam launches a new health and gender equality project
READ MORE: Ethnic Minority Midwives Training

Male Involvement in Maternal and Child Health in Tanzania

In the Iringa region of Tanzania, HealthBridge collaborated with the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Dar es Salaam and the Regional Health Management Department, under the Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa (IMCHA) program. The project used participatory action research to empower communities and promote male involvement in maternal and child health. In a newly published article entitled: Leaving no one behind: using action research to promote male involvement in maternal and child health in Iringa region, Tanzania, the IMCHA research team detail their findings from the project. 

 Livable Cities documentary wins at Better Cities Film Festival

HealthBridge Vietnam's Livable Cities team and partners, TrySpaces, Villes Régions Monde, and the Vietnamese Women's Museum, produced a documentary on young female migrants and public spaces in Hanoi, entitled "Making our Place." The documentary was featured at the 2020 Better Cities Film Festival in October. The festival featured over 90 video entries and each entry was judged by an international panel of esteemed urbanists, architects, and filmmakers. "Making our Place" received the "Best Next Gen Film Award". Winning films from the festival will be shown in cities across the globe, providing communities everywhere with inspiration and ideas to become better places. More information on how to host a local screening is available at the official website:
WATCH: "Making our Place" Livable Cities Documentary

Give to HealthBridge this Holiday Season

This year has come with a unique set of challenges. While resilient, Canadian charities need your support, now more than ever, during this holiday season. Consider giving a gift to HealthBridge in support of our work to improve the lives of individuals and communities around the globe, made even more vulnerable this year by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Give a gift to HealthBridge

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