Health & Social Services
Cambodia in brief
Cambodia has made great improvements in decreasing child mortality and morbidity over the past decade. Most recent estimates of mortality rates of children aged under 5 showed 35 deaths per 1000 live births in 2014, down from 54 in 2010 and 83 in 2005. However, rates are still amongst the highest in the region and many more improvements need to be made.
The major causes of child mortality are neonatal, such as birth asphyxia (30%), followed by infections such as diarrhea and pneumonia. Malnutrition is a leading cause of disease burden in children under 5; approximately one third of child deaths are related to malnutrition.
In the South East Asia region, Cambodia has the worse maternal mortality rates only second to Lao PDR. Maternal deaths account for 17% of overall mortality in Cambodian women aged 15-49 years. Thanks to the efforts of the Cambodian government and development organizations such as People in Need, in recent years Cambodia has managed to significantly improve health care, and the mortality of women giving birth has decreased by an average of 55% since 2005. In Takeo province, where PIN worked since 2008, maternal mortality has been reduced even further – to over 75%.
Despite this success, a Cambodian woman giving birth still undertakes a risk of not surviving the delivery that is thirty times higher than women in European countries. Four conditions are responsible for the majority of deaths: post-partum haemorrhage, pregnancy-induced hypertensive disorders (eclampsia and pre-eclampsia), obstructed labour and infections. Many of these conditions can be improved by proper antenatal care and skilled birth attendants.
PIN works in a number of integrated activities to improve maternal and child health across 4 provinces. We provide quality trainings to improve the level of care provided by midwives and health centre staff, and we support and train health workers to conduct health promotion at a community level. These cover topics including newborn care, nutrition, and hygiene.
Finally, in 2013 PIN piloted an innovative program using mobile phone technology in Kampong Chhnang Province. Mothers who subscribe to the program receive timely voice messages with important information on how to take care of their newborn and themselves.
Impact: We work in 4 provinces (Kampong Chhnang, Takeo, Koh Kong and Phnom Penh) across rural and urban populations in over 30 health centers and hospitals, with over 90 midwives and 50 health center staff. Our ongoing projects will benefit over 45 thousand people.
Partners: Urban Poor Women Development (UPWD), Magna Children at risk, Wetlands Work!, Open Institute, 17 Triggers, Instedd
Donors: Czech Development Agency, Czech Embassy of Cambodia, USAID, Real Aid and Real Gift