Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ministry of Health Plans to Buy Vaccines for Women and Children

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Ministry of Health has planned to conduct the “Vaccination Injection Campaign 2010” for children and women in early February to provide good health and safety. Due to the shortage of medicines and vaccines, the ministry plans to buy more medicines and vaccinations from abroad this year for treatment of Cambodian women and children.

Dr. Sann Chan Thoeun, Director of the Preventive Medicines Department in the Ministry of Health, said his ministry plans to spend US$4 million to buy the medicines and vaccines for treatment, especially for mothers and babies in Cambodia this year.

“Due to the recent increase of the children’s birth rate, Cambodia is now lacking medicines and vaccinations for treatment of women and children,” he said. “The ministry is now planning to buy from abroad for Cambodian women and children,” he said on January 12 in Phnom Penh during a workshop on a strategic plan for healthcare in 2010.

Dr. Chan Thoeun continued to say that the medicines and vaccines that his ministry will buy for its vaccination injection campaign include polio, diphtheria, TB, and tetanus and other related materials. These medicines and vaccines will be given free of charge to the women and children in Cambodia.

According to the Ministry of health’s statistics, there are about 400,000 children being born and about 400,000 women giving birth every year in Cambodia.

“The ministry has ordered and recommended all the state hospitals, referral hospitals and health centers to provide medicines and vaccinations free of charge at least five times for all children and pregnant women in Cambodia,” he said.

Chan Thoeun went on to say that the vaccines injection for mothers and children have been increasing in recent years because the rate of pregnancy and children’s birth has also increased every year in Cambodia.

To promote women’s health, the Ministry of Health has urged women between the ages of 15 to 45 to present themselves for tetanus inoculation every year, said Dr. Veng Thai, Director of the Municipal Health Department in the Ministry of Health.

Dr. Veng Thai said the tetanus vaccination program started in 1996 and in that time over one million Cambodian women have received the vaccines each year. He emphasized that most women who received tetanus jabs were garment industry workers, factory workers, and homemaking women. He said the injection campaign for all women is conducted at all public hospitals or health centers in cities and provinces.

“The tetanus vaccination is very important for our women as they are the mothers of the next generation,” he said, adding that a course of inoculation provides a lifetime’s protection against tetanus and other diseases. He added that every Cambodian woman should have at least five tetanus injections in her life. He also encouraged them to bring their children as it is never too early to make the first steps on the road to a tetanus-free life.

According to a report which was released by the Ministry of Health in 2009, the prevalence of tetanus infection is still high for the women and children of Cambodia. He also noted that approximately 80 percent of tetanus cases here resulted in death. ////





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