Bayer steps up efforts in “health for all, hunger for none” vision

January 21, 2023 | 22:45
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Bayer has been spearheading various initiatives to promote the sustainable development of Vietnam’s agriculture sector and safeguard the safety of farmers while enhancing the sustainability of the country’s healthcare sector.
Bayer steps up efforts in “health for all, hunger for none” vision
A range of Bayer initiatives are helping to improve health in Vietnam as well as raise awareness of future challenges

Along with rolling out modern and effective agricultural solutions, Bayer is constantly working with strategic partners to implement programmes that support farmers to access knowledge about using crop protection products responsibly, ecologically, and effectively – from the handling and application of the products to the disposal of empty containers.

The company’s products, services, and technologies are safe, sustainable, and environmentally responsible while meeting grower expectations and needs.

In 2017, Bayer launched the “Safe Use Ambassador” contest with a view to building a network of partners and ambassadors to share and spread the message of using crop protection products safely among farmer communities. The company is partnering with faculties of agriculture at universities in Asia-Pacific to connect student and farmer communities with a view to encouraging exchanges to find effective and creative ways to impart knowledge and promote sustainable agricultural practices, which include the use and disposal of crop protection products responsibly.

The contest reached out to 40 universities across eight nations in Asia-Pacific, with more than 10,000 students trained as certified Bayer Safe Use Ambassadors to date. In Vietnam, the contest has attracted more than 300 local students and farmers. In 2022, it attracted the participation of agricultural students at the Faculty of Agriculture, Can Tho University, and University of Agriculture and Forestry – Hue University.

Sharing the common objective of improving farm productivity and sustainable agricultural practices, the National Agricultural Extension Centre under the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development and Bayer last year signed an MoU to cooperate and share practical measures for the farmers in the Mekong Delta region.

The areas of cooperation under the MoU include collaborations on key sustainable rice production in the delta and support for improved on-farm practices, productivity, and crop quality, together with other industry stakeholders.

Chu Viet Ha, head of the Crop Science Division of Bayer Vietnam said, “We believe human ingenuity can shape the future of agriculture. For more than 150 years, Bayer has constantly leveraged its strengths in researching and developing new solutions, in combination with the application of science and technology to improve the quality of life for everyone. I believe that, together, we will shape the future of sustainable agriculture in Vietnam.”

Fresh innovations

Vietnam is one of the most rapidly ageing countries worldwide. People aged 60 and older made up 12 per cent of the total population in 2019, and by 2050, it could rise to more than 25 per cent. By 2036, Vietnam will likely be classed as transitioning from an ageing to an aged society.

This trend of demographic change will present both opportunities and challenges for Vietnam’s socioeconomic aspects. As a result, strong actions are required to improve health, prevent and treat common diseases in older people.

One of the greatest challenges is the rise of cardiovascular diseases, which seriously affects the quality of life of patients, putting pressure on the healthcare system and the community. With that, Bayer is constantly researching and developing innovative medications and new therapeutic approaches that help improve quality of life in patients suffering from heart and blood conditions.

The company is also working in collaboration with relevant stakeholders to provide scientifically accurate information to raise public awareness about the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

In October 2022, at the Scientific Symposium on Stroke, Bayer Vietnam together with the Ho Chi Minh City Stroke Association conducted an expert roundtable discussion. The topic was “Anticoagulation for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation: from research to clinical practice”.

It provided crucial information on the use of non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants over more than 10 years of clinical practice in Vietnam.

In an effort to enhance knowledge of the public on stroke prevention, since 2021, Bayer has been teaming up with the Vietnam Administration Medical Service to develop a digital multi-platform portal named Stroke, which includes a website, fan page, and YouTube channel.

The platform aims to provide people with scientifically accurate information and updated knowledge about strokes, including causes, symptoms, treatment and recommendations on prevention such as lifestyle changes and treatment compliance.

Caring for women’s health

Alongside the pressure from the global ageing trend, the demand for reproductive healthcare and voluntary family planning of approximately 218 million women living in low- and middle-income countries also requires more attention to ensure the health and brighter future for women in specific and the community in general.

With that, Bayer has pledged its commitment until 2030 to providing 100 million women in low- and middle-income countries with access to suitable family planning knowledge and methods.

In Vietnam, Bayer has also been collaborating with the General Office for Population and Family Planning to implement effective communication programmes and provide women, notably adolescent girls, with scientifically accurate information about the pros and cons of modern contraceptive methods, while addressing misconceptions and encouraging them to proactively take their reproductive and sexual health into their own hands.

Many initiatives have been conducted by both parties included the “Living Proactively” campaign; an online contest on understanding contraception and sharing inspirational stories; and mobile app “Be Proactive in Life”, which together have helped more than 25 million women across the country receive direct advice from population officials on how to choose safe and suitable birth control methods.

Also in 2022, Bayer Vietnam along with the Vietnam Association of Gynaecology and Obstetrics and National Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynaecology held a seminar to educate the public about endometriosis – a chronic disease with serious implications on women. The company also launched the “#DontLiveWithPain” campaign to encourage women to seek intervention and treatment early.

Previously, the company together with clinical experts from across the region unveiled a new consensus guideline on clinical diagnosis and early medical management for endometriosis with a view to helping healthcare professionals navigate clinical diagnosis for the treatment of endometriosis and creating the very best outcomes for their patients.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that malnutrition impacts the development of an estimated 149 million children under the age of five globally. In Vietnam, the prevalence of mothers not meeting the national recommendations for essential micronutrient intake was on average over 50 per cent.

Understanding the importance of nutrition in the first 1,000 days to support childhood development, Bayer has established a strategic partnership with Vitamin Angels, a public health non-profit, to launch the “Every Beginning” campaign in Vietnam with the mission of increasing access to prenatal vitamins and minerals for over 130,000 underserved pregnant women each year.

The campaign aims to improve the chance of a healthy pregnancy for Vietnamese women and give every baby the best start in life.

According to WHO data, during the pandemic, the global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by 25 per cent. Thus, taking care of physical health and fuelling the mind with positive energy every day is vital to lead a healthy and happy life.

Recognising this, along with providing essential vitamin and mineral supplements, skin care, and digestive support products, in 2022, Bayer’s Consumer Health Division launched a campaign to raise awareness about self-care. The campaign encourages everyone to lead a healthy lifestyle by adopting an adequate and balanced diet, promoting mental healthcare, nurturing positive energy, and radiating good vibes to all around, thereby enhancing the happiness and wellbeing of the community.

By Thanh Van

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