UNFPA to help lower maternal death rates

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Health minister Mam Bun Heng meets with Sandra Bernklau, the newly appointed UN Population Fund (UNFPA) representative to Cambodia, on September 20. FN

The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) is set to continue cooperation with the Ministry of Health to reduce maternal and child mortality rates in Cambodia.

Newly appointed UNFPA representative to Cambodia Sandra Bernklau made the pledge during her meeting with health minister Mam Bun Heng at the ministry headquarters in Phnom Penh on September 20.

According to the ministry, Bun Heng thanked the UNFPA for its cooperation in Cambodia’s health sector, in particular its support for maternal and child health protection. The ministry, he added, has achieved success in the 5th UN Millennium Development Goals on maternal and child health ahead of schedule.

Bernklau said UNFPA is planning a strategic development programme, which has received the ministry’s support and will be launched soon.

“We agreed to cooperate with the health ministry to improve the maternal and child health protection programme, and in particular to reduce the maternal mortality rate by 75 per cent. The rates decreased from 472 deaths per 100, 000 live-births in 2005 to 154 deaths in 2021,” Bernklau said at the meeting.

According to the primary results of the 2021-2022 Cambodia Demographic and Health Survey, maternal and maternal mortality rates have declined significantly.

“The estimate of the maternal mortality ratio in 2021-2022 is that there were 154 deaths per 100,000 live births. This means 0.004 of mothers died in childbirth, or four in every thousand,” the report said.

The percentage of women who received medical care for live births or still births increased from 39 per cent in 2000 to 99 per cent in 2021-2022.