Monday, October 31, 2016
Cambodia - Ministry Tries to Reduce Infant Deaths
Health Minister Mam Bung Heng has instructed private hospitals and clinics throughout the Kingdom to establish services providing adequate care for infants with health problems in an effort to lower rates of maternal death and infant mortality.
Dated last Thursday, Mr. Bun Heng’s letter said that while his ministry continued to implement strategies to reduce deaths to both mothers and infants, it also needed collaboration from private medical establishments across the country.
The Health Ministry urged the owners of private hospitals and clinics with maternity services to create additional services to better care for infants in emergency situations.
“Directors of private clinics or private hospitals with maternity services must create services to save babies and collaborate with the capital and provincial health departments,” he said.
Leang Sreytouch, an employee at the Angkor Poly Clinic & Maternity in Phnom Penh’s Choam Chao commune, said her employer had yet to establish services to rescue newborns and had also yet to receive the ministry’s announcement.
“We will wait and see for a while. Maybe the doctor [clinic owner] will set up the service at this location, but now they are gradually processing it,” she said.
The ministry’s announcement comes after some Facebook users strongly criticized the health sector when a newborn with respiratory problems died after failing to receive medical treatment from several hospitals.
Last Tuesday, a man named Ruos Saruon wrote on Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Facebook page: “I took my newborn son who was crying and had difficulty breathing in an ambulance accompanied by two doctors to Calmette Hospital.
“They did not admit him and said there was no place. I took him to Kantha Bopha, but they also wouldn’t admit him. I took him to the National Pediatric Hospital, but it was too late and my son died.
“Samdech [Mr. Hun Sen] please check this problem, do not let Cambodian children die like this without helping just a little bit.”