Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Maternal death rate sliding, claims gov’t

Maternal death rate sliding, claims gov’t

Maternal death rate sliding, claims gov’t

Cambodia's Ministry of Health said yesterday that it recorded 116 “cases” of maternal mortality in 2013, a figure that is markedly lower than accepted rates recorded by health organisations in recent years.

The ministry’s annual report mentions the 116 cases, but does not specify if this figure is a rate per 100,000 live births, a common way of presenting such data.

It also does not provide a specific definition of what it considers maternal mortality.

Recent studies have placed Cambodia’s maternal mortality rate at between about 200 and 300 deaths per 100,000 live births.

In a 2013 report, the United Nations Population Fund found that 250 women died per 100,000 live births in Cambodia, or nearly double the Kingdom’s 2015 Millennium Development Goal.

But Health Minister Mam Bun Heng said at yesterday’s report launch that “according to the report, [we] have nearly achieved the Kingdom’s 2015 Millennium Development Goal”.

According to the ministry’s report, about 320,000 births were recorded last year, 80 per cent of which took place in recognised health centres.

“The government is making efforts to promote women giving birth in health centres, especially in rural areas, and that’s why we want to expand more health centres,” Bun Heng said.

Denise Shepherd-Johnson, UNICEF Cambodia’s chief of communications, said that while the rate in Cambodia was declining, other maternal deaths at home or in private health facilities may have gone unrecorded by the government last year.

“Although there has been a decrease in maternal mortality . . . disparities exist for women in deprived or hard-to-reach communities where they do not have access to basic and essential health services and where it is a norm to use traditional birth attendants,” she said.

Tung Rathavy, director of the National Maternal and Child Health Centre, said the government needed to focus on increasing prenatal care and reproductive healthcare access.


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australian police investigating death threat against Kem Ley's widow

    Updated: 10:17am, Friday March 23, 2018 Australian authorities on Thursday confirmed they have launched an investigation into a crudely written death threat sent tothe family of slain political analyst Kem Ley and Victoria state MP Hong Lim. The typed letter, reported to Victoria police last week, is

  • Apparel groups including H&M and Gap urge Cambodia garment industry reform, seek meeting with Hun Sen

    A group representing some of the largest apparel brands in the US and Europe – including Gap, H&M and ASOS – expressed “growing concern” on Tuesday over several controversial labour laws and ongoing court cases against unionists described as restrictive and unjust. In an open letter

  • Hun Sen says Montagnards don’t exist in Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen once again attacked ex-opposition leader Sam Rainsy for pledging “autonomy” to Montagnards, claiming – seemingly incorrectly – the ethnic minority does not exist in Cambodia. “We respect all minorities such as Jarai, Steang, Phnong, but we have never had Montagnards,” the premier said