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Maternal health gets a boost in 3 provinces

Maternal health gets a boost in 3 provinces

About 300,000 women of reproductive age will receive higher-quality emergency obstetric and newborn-care services thanks to a sizeable handover of medical equipment and supplies to government health centres and hospitals in Kampong Thom, Kampot and Kep provinces.

Through a partnership seeking to improve the social healthcare sector in Cambodia, the Cambodian-German “Muskoka” project, German Development Cooperation and Unicef have procured equipment valued at more than $500,000.

“This project is just one segment of our larger objective in strengthening the social health protection system [in Cambodia] long term,” said Birgit Strube, first secretary for the German Embassy in Phnom Penh.

About eight per cent of the 36,000 annual pregnancies in all three provinces are identified as high-risk.

Nationally, three out of four newborn deaths occur in the first week of life, especially during the first day.

Lauding the project’s equipment disbursement, Chan Thery, executive director of the Reproductive and Child Health Alliance, said “transportation to health facilities, ensuring clean facilities and access to water and postpartum care are important interventions” in reducing neonatal and maternal deaths.

Medical supplies like ultrasound scanners, fetal heart detectors, sterilising apparatus, surgical sterilising instruments and resuscitators will keep Cambodia on track to achieving its Millennium Development Goal of reducing child mortality, proponents maintain.

“These critical, quality, value-for-money supplies from reliable manufacturers, will support the government to deliver and scale up essential services for mothers and newborns,” Unicef communications officer Angelique Reid wrote in an email.