Monday, 30.6.2008: Cambodia Needs Many Midwives to Guarantee the Safety of Mothers and Infants during Childbirth

Posted on 30 June 2008. Filed under: Week 567 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 567

“Experts of the World Health Organization and experts of maternal and infant health said that the health of mothers and infants during childbirth in Cambodia causes much concern, and this is the result mainly of the shortage of midwives.

“Dr. Cheang Konitha, an official of the World Health Organization in Cambodia, said that the health of mothers and infants is a major issue to which Cambodia should pay attention, because there are many maternal and infants’ deaths every year. She said, ‘It is estimated that about 2,000 Cambodian women and infants died every year during pregnancy or during childbirth.’

“Dr. Kum Kanal [Director of National Mother and Child Health Center] said that maternal and infants’ deaths during pregnancy and until 42 days after childbirth are higher than in other countries in the region. He said, ‘The number of maternal and infants’ deaths in our country is a bit better than that of Burma, and it is comparable to that of Laos; but if compared to that of Vietnam and Thailand, we are much worse.’

“He continued that there are three major reasons that makes the death rate in Cambodia so high, which include the late detection and control of illnesses, and the late referring to special care. As for other countries, their services are faster. He added that the delays are because there is a shortage of midwives, and most Cambodian citizens do not understand the importance of health centers.

“Dr. Cheang Konitha said that according to the national health statistics in 2007 in Cambodia, there were only 3,184 midwives, and this number is not enough to guarantee the safety of mothers and infants during childbirth.

“She said that there are more than 100 health centers that have no midwife at all, and 78% of women give birth to their children at home, 55% of whom give birth assisted by traditional midwives who have not obtained training in midwifery skills.

“Mr. Kum Kanal denied the numbers describing the shortage mentioned above, claiming that because of the efforts of the government, so far, among all of the more than 900 health centers in Cambodia, only 72 or 73 centers do not have a midwife. However, he admitted that Cambodia still lacks thousands of midwives, but he is not sure about the real number of the shortage.

“Officials of the Human Resource Development Department of the Ministry of Health could not be reached for comment on 28 June 2008.

“Ms. Cheang Konitha said that as a national standard, each health center needs one to two midwives. As for hospitals that have three sections, some need six to eight midwives, or seven to ten or fifteen to twenty; and areas without health centers also need midwives.

“Regarding the shortage of midwives in Cambodia, regional experts of the World Health Organization said in a workshop organized in Hanoi that the reason for the shortage of midwives in Cambodia is an economic problem.

“Mr. Kum Kanal mentioned that this is the true reason; the low salary is the major reason, and the shortage of encouragement is also a cause. Young people of the next generation in their teens are not very much interested in this skill.

“He asserted, ‘We have five midwife training schools, but there are only 200 midwives graduating from those schools each year. He went on to say that according to this number, we need up to ten more years to have enough midwives.’ Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4528, 29-30.6.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 30 June 2008


Chouy Khmer, Vol.2, #125, 30.6.2008

  • Co-Lawyer Say Bory Resigns from the Position of Defense Lawyer of Murderer Khiev Samphan [because he is unhappy and does not get on well with his French partner, lawyer Jacques Vergès]


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1680, 29-30.6.2008

  • A Deputy Village Chief Was Tied and Dragged to Be Killed behind His House by [three] Anonymous People [Kompong Cham]
  • A Journalist in Kompong Thom Was Surrounded by a Group of Illegal Wood Merchants and Was Seriously Injured
  • North Korea Destroyed Nuclear Powerplant Tower


Khmer Amatak, Vol.9, #594, 30.6.2008

  • There Was an Attempt to Murder Mr. Sut Dina, Activist of the Norodom Ranariddh Party and Parliamentarian from Battambang [his car was shot at after returning from an election campaign in the province]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #188, 29.6-1.7.2008

  • Police Arrested Boss of the Macao Casino in Bavet and Sent Him to Phnom Penh at Midnight [according to a worker of this casino]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #36, 29-30.6.2008

  • National Angkor Museum [in Siem Reap] Overlooks National Writing [by not using Khmer letters besides the two sign which says “National Angkor Museum” in Khmer]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6384, 30.6.2008

  • A Dam Was Opened [by Su Ching Company] Swirling and Sinking Thirty Big and Small Boats and [Floating] Houses [Siam Reap]
  • Fauna & Flora International Helped Fight against Drug Crimes in Cambodia [by seizing thirty tonnes of Mraes Prov Phnom Oil made from a tree, which is an important substance to produce the drug Ecstasy]
  • The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts Plans to Create a Training School of Movie Producing Professionals [by cooperating with Korea in order to restore the movie sector in Cambodia]


Meatophum, Vol.52, #695, 1-5.7.2008

  • Cambodia Plans to Create National Job Agency


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3499, 30.6.2008

  • It Is a Major National Security Issue after Banks Were Found to Be Money Laundering Places [according to security observers]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4528, 29-30.6.2008

  • Cambodia Needs Many Midwives to Guarantee the Safety of Mothers and Infants when During Childbirth

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3346, 29-30.6.2008

  • Civil Society: Situation in the 2008 Election Campaign Is Good
  • The Current of Deforestation in Siem Reap Increased Strongly, but No One Takes the Responsibility [to solve this issue]

Have a look at the last editorial – Preah Vihear still in the headlines – more informaion from Thailand and Cambodian documentation.

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