Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New push for maternal health



New push for maternal health

An ultrasound is performed on a woman at a clinic in Phnom Penh
An ultrasound is performed on a woman at a clinic in Phnom Penh. The government is encouraging people to seek out professional midwives for childbirth in an effort to decrease mortality rates at birth. Charlotte Pert

New push for maternal health

The government on Saturday announced a plan to decrease the number of maternal deaths in the Kingdom by 50 per cent in the future by promoting countrywide pregnancy-related preventative measures among women.

First Lady Bun Rany, who heads the Cambodian Red Cross and is in charge of the UN secretary general’s Action Plan for Women’s and Children’s Health, publicised the goal in an open letter to pregnant mothers on Saturday.

According to the letter, the aim of decreasing maternal deaths could be achieved in the near future if pregnant women received proper sexual health education, underwent proper blood testing to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission and delivered their children with the help of expert midwifery.

“If all pregnant women obey and deliver their babies with expert midwives, then Cambodia will decrease the number of maternal deaths by 50 per cent,” Bun Rany wrote.

In the recently released preliminary results of the 2014 Cambodia Demographic and Health Survey (CDHS), pregnancy-related deaths were recorded to have declined from 2.06 per 1,000 live births in 2010 to 1.70 in 2014.

The major reason for this decrease, according to CDHS project manager and ICF International senior health specialist Dr Rathavuth Hong, is the significant improvement of national health services available to mothers.

“There’s been an increase in both prenatal and antenatal care, which are pregnancy checkups before delivery, and there has also been an increase in postnatal checkups and the percentage of women who deliver through trained health providers,” Hong said.

In the study, the number of pregnant women who had health professionals deliver their babies rose substantially, from 71 per cent in the 2010 CDHS to 89 per cent in the 2014 preliminary CDHS, while the proportion of babies delivered at a health facility surged from 54 per cent in 2010 to 83 per cent in 2014.

Proper medical attention and hygienic conditions have led to a reduction in complications and infections that can either cause death or serious illness to mothers, babies or both, Hong said.

But while Cambodia has made significant strides in improving maternal health, Rany said that more work has to be done to further decrease pregnancy-related deaths.

To reach the milestone, Rany wrote in her appeal that women should practice better family planning, quit smoking, stop drinking alcohol and refrain from ingesting medicine without proper doctor’s prescriptions. The drop in maternal deaths “is our pride, but we still have some more work to continue”, she said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a

  • Cambodia ready to exit LDC status

    Cambodia is well-prepared to minimise economic risks when it graduates from its Least Developed Countries status, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce on May 7. Four LDCs – Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and Nepal – met at a virtual workshop last week to explore potential

  • Tottenham Hotspur to wear ISF Cambodia logo on jerseys in match against Sheffield United

    Last year, the Indochina Starfish Foundation (ISF) – an NGO providing education to underprivileged children in Cambodia – made global headlines with its “socially distanced” football initiative. This year, a world-class football club – Tottenham Hotspur FC – will wear special edition jerseys to show their support for ISF