Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kingdom has 'severe shortage' of midwives

Kingdom has 'severe shortage' of midwives

Kingdom has 'severe shortage' of midwives

Cambodia must increase the number of midwives working in the Kingdom in order to meet a goal of having 95 percent of births supervised by a skilled birth attendant by 2015, according to a report released yesterday.

The State of the World’s Midwifery 2011 report, released by the United Nations Population Fund and partner organisat-ions, found that an estimated 567 more  midwives were needed in Cambodia to meet a projected Millennium Development Goal target of 2,481. Cambodia is one of 38 countries facing a “severe shortage” of midwives, with an average of six midwives per 1,000 live births, the report stated. The maternal mortality rate is 290 deaths per 100,000 live births, according to 2008 data.

For the past 20 years, midwife numbers had not been sufficient to meet the needs of the population, Kathryn Hinchliff, a midwife and volunteer at the Cambodia Midwives Association, said yesterday.

She said, however, that early next year the first group of students to take part in a three-year training programme established in 2008 would become midwives. “There are well over 300 more students now in training than there were three years ago,” Hinchliff said.

The government aimed to reduce maternal mortality to 250 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2015,  Health Minister Mam Bunheng said yesterday.

A four-year midwife training programme was also under way, he said.

“We aim to put midwives with one year of training into each hospital in the remote areas of Cambodia. Then we will put midwives with three years of training in each hospital [alongside them], followed by midwives with four years of training, so it will reduce the maternal mortality rate in the countryside.”

Hinchliff said primary midwives, who received one year of training, needed to work alongside secondary midwives with a three-year nursing degree or from a direct-entry midwifery programme.

“Because of the lack of secondary midwives, [primary midwives] have had to take on more responsibility, which has been a problem,” she said.


  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all