Before CI's Population, Health and Environment project began in 2004, residents had to travel on poor roads to clinics and hospitals located half a day’s drive away. Now, interventions focus on the promotion of voluntary birth spacing, ante- and post- natal care, the provision of outreach services and an emergency referral system for pregnant women and infant children.
CI has also worked with health post staff, health officials from the provincial health department and CARE staff to provide vaccination and health services in the surrounding villages, deep in the forest, usually a day’s trek on motorbike away from the health post. The health staff members delivered basic health information on topics such as nutrition, vaccinations, assisted births, birth spacing, emergency care, respiratory ailments and waster-based issues of sanitation and hygiene. At the same time, the outreach workers promoted the importance of caring for the river, preserving the forest and keeping families healthy.
In our partner communities, we successfully increased the use of family planning and reproductive health services. These services help families better space the births of their children and improve the health of the children they currently have. They also help reduce maternal and infant mortality. We expect to see fertility rates decrease due to the reduced need to have extra children to guarantee support for oneself in older age.
CI and partners also worked to increase child survival rates. Interventions included maternal and child care services, such as vaccinations among children under five, tetanus vaccinations for pregnant women aged 15-49, nutrition supplements, assisted deliveries and other treatments for malaria and TB. In the past four years, we have helped to vaccinate over 1,150 children against potentially fatal childhood diseases.
CARE will continue to support the emergency referral system so that obstetric emergency cases and serious child illness can be treated in a timely manner at the referral hospital in Koh Kong.
In Cambodia, these cases often become life threatening and result in high levels of maternal and child mortality. An emergency referral system reduces this risk and reduces the possibility of household bankruptcy. This, in turn, reduces the local need for poaching high-value wildlife to pay for medical emergencies.
We also worked to promote knowledge and positive behavior change in regards to health and the environment; and increase communications about the links between health and conservation.
IN DEPTH: Learn about more population, health and environment initiatives in Cambodia.