Institute for Social Development Studies

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Our Bodies Ourselves




For millions of Vietnamese women, especially in remote areas, it is difficult to comprehensively access to medical information because of the lack in resources. Besides, the medical information ready on televisions, social networks, online newspapers and forums is often inaccurate or misleading. Meanwhile, in most Vietnamese family, women play the major role in taking care of the family and making decisions about health care. Therefore, if women lack of access to medical information, it will lead to an implication that not only women but also men and children in in the family are also affected. This will also lead to many concerns about health for the whole community. From the beginning of 2013, with Oxfam’s funding, the Institute for Social Development (ISDS) has implemented the project developing and publishing the IEC material about the issues related to sexual and reproductive health for women and girls. ISDS expects that women can control over their bodies, their health and their lives, as well as become the catalyst for changes in society in general and in health status of the population in particular.

The main activities of the project is to translate, adapt and dissminate the famous book of health education “Our Body Our Selves” (OBOS). OBOS was first published in the US in early 2002. Since then, OBOS has been published in 27 languages and recompiled in 37 countries all over the world. The book successfully provided healthcare-related information to women in different generations, and changed many women’s lives worldwide.

Presently, ISDS finished translating OBOS from English to Vietnamese. ISDS is collecting more information and images to adapt the book into the context of Vietnam. ISDS is coordinating with Nha Nam Publication to edit and publish the book. It is expected that OBOS will be released in June 2014 with 3 volumes, each has 2 parts and 100 pages in length.

  • Book1: Bodies and Identity, Relationships and Sexuality
  • Book 2: Sexual health and Reproductive Choices; Childbearing
  • Book 3: Postreproductive Years; Some medical problems; Major factors affecting women’s sexuality and reproductive health

This is some images of the project:


The US original version

Middle-aged women discussion

Project team:

Khuat Thu Hong, PhD – Project manager (email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

Nguyen Thi Van Anh, MA; Tran Giang Linh, MA; Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, MA; Vu Thanh Nhan (B), MA; Trinh Thi Ngoc Diep and Nguyen Thao Linh.

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