Monday, March 1, 2010

Maternal Death Still a Concern for Cambodia


The Minister of Health Dr. Mam Bunheng said that today, although reproductive, maternal, newborn and child healthcare coverage is improved, the maternal death is still a main concern for the Royal Government of Cambodia.

The Minister Dr. Bunheng continued that in the last decade, infant and under-five mortality has dropped significantly, by 30 percent, and is now on the path toward achieving CMDG 4 by the end of 2015. Nonetheless, what remains a major concern for Cambodia is that maternal mortality has not decreased to a level that it has wanted.

According to the population census report, maternal mortality has declined from 472 per 100,000 live births in 2005 to 461 in 2008. This indicates that Cambodia still has a long way to go in terms of measuring changes in maternal mortality. the key maternal health indicator of moving toward achieving the CMDG by the end of 2015 will rely entirely on the maximum level of deliveries assisted by skilled birth attendants at health facilities and on the expansion of emergency obstetric care nationwide.

“This clearly shows that the maternal mortality reduction process in Cambodia remains a daunting task which requires this country to further continue its endeavors, especially in the current global economic crisis, in order to save as many lives of mothers as possible, particularly of women in rural areas,” he said.

The 2008 population census report reveals that maternal mortality in rural areas has gone up to 490 per 100,000 live births versus 287 per 100,000 live births in urban areas. This is another important message. As such, it is imperative that the expansion of interventions, which currently prove highly effective in reducing maternal mortality, be directed to rural areas, he said, adding that the Ministry of Health very much appreciates the technical and financial support of national and international development partners in rehabilitating, developing and strengthening the health systems in Cambodia in order to overcome the challenges to maternal mortality reduction.

Dr. Tung Rathavy, Deputy Director of the National Maternal and Child Health Centre in the Ministry of Health, said that according to a report, there are between 13,000 and 15, 000 women who die during their birth delivery every year in Cambodia. He said that most of the women died because of their blood fall, breaking of sworn, and other factors during and after their birth delivery at the health centers or hospitals in Cambodia.

Dr. Mam Bunheng said that to receive more accurate information on a weekly basis on the number of maternal deaths in Cambodia, the Ministry of Health has launched the maternal death surveillance room and also implements weekly maternal death reporting in the public heath system in Cambodia.

He added that this new mechanism will help the Ministry to receive more accurate information on a weekly basis on the number of maternal deaths, especially mothers who die during and around the time of childbirth in the local community and in private and public facilities. //

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