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

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer