FRESH SOLUTIONS TO SYSTEMIC PROBLEMS
Health-care activities help protect health and save lives, but the waste and by-products they generate may have serious implications on the patients, health workers, and the general public. According to the World Health Organisation, 15% of the total amount of health-care waste may be infectious, chemical, and radioactive.
The alarming figures in Vietnam indicated that in 2016, around 47 tons of hazardous solid waste and 125,000 m3 of medical sewage were released each day, and those only accounted for hospitals, not local health-care centres and medical production facilities. One big part of the problem was the lack of awareness in different levels of management, which stemmed from the absence of adequate and consistent guidance from the top down.
As the national authoritative agency responsible for the governance and guidance of healthcare of Vietnam, our project client, the Ministry of Health knew something had to be done to alleviate the situation. That was when its representatives were actively seeking professional support from our Communications Production team, in what we consider one of the most ambitious and challenging projects we have encountered to date. The main challenges came from the huge amount of research work CREATO had to conduct, and the fact that practically everything needed building from the ground up due to the lack of existing references. By working closely with our client, we set out to achieve clear and measurable objectives including:
Conduct field research and generate detailed reports on current situations regarding the management of medical waste
Propose a comprehensive communication plan with straightforward actionable items that target present shortcomings
Design and produce a wide range of relevant communication materials
IN-DEPTH RESEARCH AS THE FOUNDATION FOR CREATIVITY
It was apparent from the first days of the project that in order for us to achieve set targets, we had to engage in active studies. A detailed plan was drawn up to gather data from various subjects located in 13 cities and provinces across the country, followed by 11 months of execution that involved many carefully designed research techniques. The large scale of the research caused a few bumpy rides along the way, but thanks to the resilience shown by both our team and our clients from the Ministry, we were able to present a comprehensive and valid set of findings, with the amount of meaningful data and the level of detail unmatched by any previous studies. The significance of this success went far beyond mere numbers, as it helped paint a big picture of the medical waste landscape that had simply been unavailable, and create a reliable benchmark for subsequent project activities.
The research outcomes reflected in the detailed field reports informed a number of subsequent communication initiatives including the design and implementation of the action plan, as well as the visualisation and production of communication materials. The Ministry of Health and its subordinate authorities were able to focus their efforts on suitable groups of audiences, and select the relevant types of actions, responses and media accordingly. These activities were also supported by a wide variety of exclusive communication materials created by CREATIO, including 01 folder, 02 leaflets, 11 posters and 02 educational films.
The communications strategy was submitted and approved at the Ministerial level. Decision 1119 /QĐ-BYT was signed on March 28, 2017 by the Ministry of Health approving the Communications Plan for Healthcare Waste Management, in the period of 2017-2021.