Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Abortions, facilities down in ’17

Abortions, facilities down in ’17

Health Minister Mam Bunheng speaks at the ministry’s annual meeting in Phnom Penh on Monday.
Health Minister Mam Bunheng speaks at the ministry’s annual meeting in Phnom Penh on Monday. Heng Chivoan

Abortions, facilities down in ’17

The number of reported abortions in Cambodia dipped by nearly 900 in 2017 compared to the year before, as did the number of safe providers, according to an annual report released by the Ministry of Health on Monday.

There were a total of 11,376 abortions recorded by the ministry in 2017, compared to 12,250 abortions it tracked in 2016, according to the report. The downward trend began in 2015 when the number of reported abortions was at 21,541.

At the same time, though, there was a decrease in the number of public safe abortion places in 2017. In 2009, there were only 44, but that number increased to 762 in 2016, and then decreased to 667 last year, according to the report. The report states these places provide safe abortions and post-abortion care in accordance with the country’s Abortion Law.

“The main reasons for the decrease in the [number of] public safe abortion services and post-abortion care at the state centres are because staff who have the technical abilities to perform safe abortions . . . retired and some changed their workplace,” among other reasons, the report says.

Kim Surphirun, director of the Kampong Cham Health Department, said that the drop in the number of abortions in his province was due to people being more aware of reproductive health and contraceptive methods.

Another reason, he said, was because some people seek those services at private facilities. “It’s their preference,” he said. “It doesn’t mean that state staff does not have the abilities.”

Chum Sopha, executive director with the NGO Health and Development Alliance, echoed Surphirun’s comments about more awareness about contraceptive methods being a contributing factor in the decrease in abortions. But the report states that only about a quarter of women aged 15 to 49 reported using modern contraceptives.

Sopha also said the closure of some of the public safe abortion facilities across the country could be another contributing factor in the number of abortions decreasing.

“Of course, it’s still low, but . . . it has increased from the past,” Sopha said of the number.

MOST VIEWED

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

    Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy. Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training

  • Deaths due to ‘lifestyle’ diseases rise in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Health has called on people to pay closer attention to their health to protect themselves from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which it said have caused high rates of deaths in the country. Ministry secretary of state York Sambath made the call at a

  • Thai Senate delegates in Cambodia to discuss anti-graft co-op

    A delegation from Thailand's Senate was in Phnom Penh on September 28 to meet their Cambodian counterparts to discuss strategies for fighting corruption and enhancing cooperation. The Thai delegates were from its Senate’s Committee on Studying and Inspecting Corruption, Misconduct and Strengthening Good Governance. They