Bayer Thai partners with PPAT to promote smallholder farmers’ health

Bayer Thai partners with PPAT to promote smallholder farmers’ health

GROWTH education project complements UN Sustainable Development Goals

Bayer Thai Co., Ltd. in collaboration with the Planned Parenthood Association of Thailand under the Patronage of Her Royal Highness the Princess Mother (PPAT) launched “The GROWTH or Grow Together Healthier project” to support improved access to information and education on reproductive health and self-care for 2,500 smallholder farmers in 10 provinces in Thailand.

The GROWTH, or Grow Together Healthier, project will take place from August 2022 to December 2022 in the form of educational training sessions related to reproductive health, family planning and self-care by experts as well as offering an online consultation platform for participating smallholder farmers in this program.

Ms. JinA Lee, Managing Director of Bayer Thai Co., Ltd, said, “The commitment to science, society and the common good has a long tradition at Bayer. This year, as Bayer marked its 60th anniversary in Thailand, we initiated the GROWTH project with a desired outcome to support and improve health and quality of life in communities and contribute to solving social challenges. This project is part of our efforts to achieve Bayer’s vision of Health for all, Hunger for none.”

“We realised that with the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of remaining in good health has never been more apparent. We have seen how people are increasingly health conscious and concerned about the health of others. The pandemic has also caused a decrease in access to health services. For fear of exposure to the virus and other reasons, many are missing important regular medical check-ups and family planning. This may pose a health threat to many especially those who are living in more remote provincial locations,” said Ms.JinA.

Bayer Thai has partnered with PPAT, a non-profit pioneer in reproductive health family planning in Thailand, to push forward implementation of GROWTH to increase access to reproductive health care, family planning and self-care knowledge among smallholder farmers. This tackles the root-cause of issues and has the potential to make a lasting positive impact in terms of health and well-being.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Luedech Gridwichai, President of Planned Parenthood Association of Thailand (PPAT),  said, “Education and knowledge are the keys to addressing the root-cause of the issues. PPAT’s vision is to increase access to reproductive health and family planning information in the targeted population to be able to take care of their reproductive health, make informed decisions to prevent unplanned pregnancy, and receive reproductive health services.”

“Our partnership in this project will support increased access to reproductive health, family planning and self-care information, equipping smallholders with correct information on which to base informed choices that will improve their quality of life,” said Assoc. Prof. Dr.Luedech.

Agriculture is one of the most important economic sectors in Thailand. Data from the Ministry of Agriculture & Cooperatives in 2020 showed that out of the total of 8.09 million farmer households in the country 70 percent face problems. The problems are due to lack of proper knowledge regarding reproductive health, especially family planning and how to maintain good health, coupled with lack of access to resources and medical services. This is partly because farmers' free time tends to be inconsistent with the working hours of medical facilities in their areas. In addition, the household economy of Thai farmers is relatively low and most of the farmers focus on making money rather than their health, which directly impacts their quality of life.

Under this project, on-ground educational-based training sessions will be organised with renowned Obstetrics and Gynecology specialists Assoc. Prof. Dr. Manopchai Thamkhantho and Professor Emerita Dr. Surasak Taneepanichskul who will speak in 14 areas of 10 provinces in central, north and northeastern regions.

Participants will receive the important information they need to decide when is the right time to have children, empowering women to make informed choices and plan for the future of a family, and how to take better care of themselves to maintain good health. PPAT has also set up an online consultation platform for participating smallholder farmers to seek advice from experts in reproductive health and family planning. The information not only benefits participants but is transferred to their families and friends. Communities will have access to better health care which will consequently improve their quality of life.

“Sustainability is a core element of Bayer’s corporate strategy,” added Ms. JinA. “We are increasingly focusing our activities on helping more people access essential healthcare and nutrition resources. Through our corporate societal engagement, sustainability-oriented activities, and collaboration with non-profit organisation partners, we are contributing solutions that drive positive societal change. With the GROWTH or Growing Together Healthier project, we are now advancing that commitment to make a difference in the lives of the farmers in Thailand, in a way which we hope will significantly contribute towards meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

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