Prime Minister Hun Sen’s wife Bun Rany yesterday called on all civil servants and health officials to implement the government’s social protection policy to reduce the infant mortality rate.
Ms Rany, who is president of the Cambodian Red Cross, issued the call yesterday prior to today’s National Mothers, Infants and Children Day.
In an open letter to civil servants, Ms Rany said the goal of reducing maternal and infant mortality rates could be achieved if all stakeholders worked together to implement the policy.
“The necessary work that we have to do together is to take care of the health of mothers, infants and children,” she said. “From pregnancy to delivery, and after delivery as well as, we must make sure mothers and children are healthy.”
Cambodian maternal deaths decreased from 427 per 100,000 births in 2005 to 170 in 2014. Newborn deaths dropped in the same period of time from 28 to 18 per 1,000 births.
Ms Rany recommended that all pregnant women have routine health checks and an assigned doctor or midwife at a nearby hospital.
“I hope and believe that the Cambodian government will increase its ability to care for mothers and their babies going forward,” she said. “This includes reproductive health, birth control, vaccines, nutrition and treatment.”
According to a World Health Organisation report on Cambodia, poor children are three times more likely to die before their fifth birthday than wealthy children.
Children born in rural areas are three times more likely to die in the newborn period than those born in urban areas, the report added.
Last year, the government announced that pregnant garment workers who give birth to one child will receive a $100 bonus, while mothers of twins will receive $200 and mothers of triplets will get $300.