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First lady: improve child healthcare

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times Share:
Bun Rany talks to a woman who had just given birth. Supplied

Cambodia’s first lady appealed to civil servants and health workers to improve efforts to reduce maternal and child deaths in conjunction with the National Day on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health today.
Bun Rany, who is also president of the Cambodian Red Cross, said that while maternal and child mortality rates have seen a sharp decline, more needed to be done to ensure the country achieved its maternal and child health goals.
While she did not state the current level of maternal and child mortality rates, she did note that the levels were better than in 2015.
“Although Cambodia has achieved success, we still have more work to be done so we must continue to do so in order to achieve new global targets which the Cambodian government has committed to completing by 2030, which is to reduce maternal mortality to less than 70 percent of 100,000 children born,” Ms. Rany said in a letter.
A recent joint study published by the World Health Organization, the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, the World Bank as well as the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research said Cambodia was among the 10 countries which had made strides in women and children’s health initiatives, subsequently achieving the country’s fourth and fifth millennium development goals.
According to the Ministry of Planning’s website, the fourth millennium goal looks to reduce the under-five child mortality rate to 65 per 1,000 live births by 2015 and to reduce infant mortality rate to 50 per 1,000 live births.
The fifth goal aims to improve maternal health and reduce the maternal mortality ratio.
Ms. Rany added that the government plans to reduce infant mortality to fewer than 12 percent per 100,000 births and to reduce the mortality rate of children under five to less than 25 deaths for every 100,000 children.
“Leaders, civil servants, health workers and all service providers – please expand the knowledge and strengthen the capacity to reduce maternal and fetus mortalities as well as the deaths of children under five to achieve the goals we have set,” she said.
National Maternal Child Health Center director Tung Rathavy said yesterday that there is still approximately five percent of pregnant women who do not seek medical treatment.
“More than 95 percent of pregnant women seek medical treatment and give birth at public or private hospitals,” she said.
“However, the remaining five percent of pregnant women still practice traditional childbirths, which means they may face problems such as the death of the mother and possibly the child,” she added during yesterday’s National Day on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health ceremony at the Health Ministry.
Health Minister Mam Bun Heng also appealed to all mothers to go for regular checkups if pregnant and to pay special attention to their child’s health.
He added that the ministry will continue its outreach efforts to ensure all citizens understand the benefits of regular health screenings and the ministry will also train more midwives to be deployed to various public and private healthcare facilities.
Separately, a woman gave birth yesterday on the Preah Monivong bridge after she was caught in a traffic jam on her way to hospital. She was assisted by local authorities, onlookers and health staff from the Meanchey Referral Hospital.

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