Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia expects rapid decline in maternal death rate by 2030



Cambodia expects rapid decline in maternal death rate by 2030

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Uong Chantha, 40, gave birth to her sixth child at Kampong Cham Referral Hospital. She is expecting to use a family planning method after this last child. Photo supplied

Cambodia expects rapid decline in maternal death rate by 2030

Maternal and newborn health is a top priority of the Cambodian government, with efforts having resulted in impressive gains in expanding the reach of services for maternal and newborn health. However, the maternal and newborn mortality rates remain a challenge for the country. The maternal mortality rate in Cambodia has been decreasing since 2005, from 472 deaths in every 100,000 live-births in 2005 to 170 deaths in every 100,000 live-births in 2014 [Cambodian Demographic and Health Survey – CDHS- 2014]. New data will be available in the coming CDHS in 2020.

According to Catherine Breen Kamkong, deputy representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), her organisation has been operational in Cambodia since 1994. UNFPA provides technical and financial assistance to the Ministry of Health in areas of sexual and reproductive health including family planning, skilled birth attendance, emergency obstetric and newborn care (EmONC), which are globally recognised as key interventions for reducing the maternal mortality rate. UNFPA provides technical and financial assistance to the Ministry of Health through the government systems and structure to reach health care providers and communities.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The midwife, Ms Khoeub Kuntheary (left), hands over the baby to its mother after delivery in a room of Stung Treng referral hospital. Photo supplied

The key strategies have included expanding access to quality family planning; investments in the training of midwives and deployment across the country in health facilities; investments in establishing emergency obstetric and newborn care facilities with trained staff, drugs and equipment, and investments in expanding universal health coverage to ensure that the poor can also access quality sexual and reproductive health services.

“Since the government has introduced the midwifery incentive in 2007 and 2008, almost 90 percent of deliveries are with trained health staff, the majority with midwives,” UNFPA’s Catherine wrote by email. “Traditional birth attendants are not midwives. Traditional birth attendants have shifted their roles from assisting delivery to supporting and accompanying pregnant women to seek services at public health facilities.”

UNFPA is currently implementing its fifth country programme, from 2016-2018, with the Royal Government of Cambodia, and is in the process of developing a new-five year programme from 2019 to 2023.

“UNFPA expects to contribute to improving sexual reproductive health and reproductive rights and further reduction of MMR in line with the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 target of 70 deaths to every 100,000 live births,” she wrote.

“UNFPA works to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every child birth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. It is their goal to support Cambodia to bring the maternal mortality rate down to zero. No women should die giving birth to a new life.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the