Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ratanakkiri clinic blamed in outdoor birth

Ratanakkiri clinic blamed in outdoor birth

Ratanakkiri clinic blamed in outdoor birth

A pregnant woman was forced to give birth on an outdoor bench with only neighbours to help because staff at a government health centre in Ratanakkiri province had left the facility unmanned, according to friends and family.

Vad Vath, 24, was taken to the Kachanh Health Centre in Banlung town at about 5:30am on Sunday morning, after she’d gone into labour.

“She gave the birth to her kid on the bench in front of the health centre,” said nieghbour Romas Ren. “We helped to bring the water and scissors to cut the umbilical cord.”

Clinic staff didn’t turn up for work until 10am, she added.

“It often happens that Kachanh Health Centre has no medic available, and patients aren’t taken care of,” Ren said. “Most patients return home and we use traditional herbal medicine to treat ourselves.”

Kachanh commune chief Tong Pov confirmed the incident had happened, and said he was aware the health centre was being left unattended and had warned staff about the problem a number of times.

But Ministry of Health spokesman Ly Sovann maintained the case was a one-off.

“This is not a common problem,” he said. “If there is a problem with staffing, they should call the Ministry of Health hotline.”

Health centres should be open 24 hours with a midwife always on call, he added.

The director of the maternal health NGO Racha, Chan Theary, also doubted the problem was widespread.

“In the past, this happened a lot, but about five years ago, the government introduced a very successful incentive scheme which gives midwives an extra $15 for every baby they deliver alive, which has cut maternal mortality dramatically,” she said.

However, she added, “The Provincial Health Department in Banlung town should look at their referral system.”

“If you have a good health centre, the pregnant woman would already have the phone number of the midwife or health care provider who would be on call,” she said.

Additional reporting by Jamie Elliott

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • 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