Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - More midwives needed to reach development goals, officials say

More midwives needed to reach development goals, officials say

More midwives needed to reach development goals, officials say


Despite a small increase in the number of midwives across the country, many more will be needed to fight maternal and infant mortality rates.


Ma Saren, a midwife in Kampong Thom, at her health centre on Monday.

A CHRONIC shortage of skilled midwives could prevent Cambodia from meeting key development goals, officials said Wednesday. 

Despite a small increase in the number of midwives in 2008, resource shortages and limited outreach efforts force thousands of women to give birth without proper assistance, impeding efforts to reduce the infant and maternal mortality rates.

"Even though the number of skilled midwives increased in 2008, we still don't have enough. We need more in order to respond to the ministry's plan,"

Minister of Health Mam Bunheng said, referring to the Millennium Development Goals the government has vowed to reach.

The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) estimated that there were about 3,300 midwives in Cambodia in 2008.  

"We want to find out how many midwives there are each year and whether reproductive health services are meeting demands or not," Pen Sophanara, communications associate for UNFPA, told the Post.

"We see that people know a lot more about reproductive health and about choosing proper health care services, [but] so far there are still not many midwives," she said.

The annual budget for the Ministry of Health's reproductive health programme last year was around US$4 million. This year it is nearly $5 million.

The government says recent incentives will help increase the number of trained midwives. 


  • Cambodia’s image problem

    In opening remarks at a recent event, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luy David said information can be a double-edged sword. He told a European Institute of Asian Studies (EIAS) briefing seminar that the media has unfairly presented

  • PM Hun Sen says dangers averted

    Delivering a campaign speech from his home via Facebook Live on Thursday, caretaker Prime Minister Hun Sen said his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) had carried the country through danger in its latest mandate. He was specifically referring to the threat of a “colour revolution”

  • Kingdom's trade deal with EU questioned before poll

    A European Union (EU) mission met with senior government officials at the Ministry of Interior on Tuesday as the 28-member bloc monitors an agreement under which Cambodian goods reach the crucial European market tariff-free. Some 10 commissioners are in the Kingdom as part of a seven-day

  • A new carrier takes off in capital

    Cambodia Airways, the latest passenger airline to enter the Kingdom, launched its first domestic flight on Tuesday. Flight KR801, carrying 145 passengers, left the Phnom Penh International Airport at 9:50am and landed in Siem Reap at 10:35am in an Airbus A319. Cambodia Airways marketing and branding