The Kep provincial health department reported that maternal and infant mortality rates in the coastal province were reduced to zero for 2022 due to its reproductive health programmes.

“The maternal and child mortality rates in Kep have decreased significantly in 2022. The indicators for the reproductive health programmes for mothers and infants as well as children continue to proudly progress in the right direction,” said Men Sothy, director of the Kep provincial health department, at the close of the meeting to summarize the work results for 2022 and set the direction for 2023, held last weekend.

He said that from 2018 to 2022, childbirth with traditional midwives was completely eliminated.

Kep governor Som Piset praised the result and said he appreciated the efforts of the civil servants at the health department. He said the results of 2022 indicated that the health status of women, children and all people in the province is gradually improving each year.

“This is due to the efforts of Kep provincial health officials who have performed their duties responsibly and achieved excellent results in the health sector, especially the provision of health services, including counseling and providing health care to local people as they have also performed their work in accordance with the plan set by the Royal Government,” he said.

The governor also requested that the provincial health department pay more attention to the health of mothers, infants and young children among poor families in rural areas, which is still a challenge, especially people living on islands in Kep including Koh Po and Koh Tonsay, which require transportation services by boat when people have problems such as childbirth or emergencies.

“The government has increased the budget for the health sector every year, especially implementing a number of incentive programmes in addition to salaries, including equity funds, dividends and incentives for midwives and cash assistance through quality assessment of public health services,” Piseth said.

As of 2022, the use of medical services in new hospitals and clinics has increased by more than 20,000 visits per year, an increase of more than 700 visits compared to 2021. Nearly 3,000 cases of patients had to stay at the health facilities for treatment, according to the provincial health department.