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Press Release

October 24, 2011 
Fewer maternal and child deaths in Cambodia

Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Both childhood and maternal mortality have decreased in recent years according to the just-released 2010 Cambodia Demographic and Health Survey (CDHS). The under-five mortality rate has dropped from 124 in 2000 to only 54 in 2010. This means that currently, about one in 20 children dies before the age of 5 in Cambodia. In 2000, approximately one in every eight children died before age 5. Maternal mortality has also dropped, from a rate of 472 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2005 to 206 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2010.

Increasing vaccination rates and improving nutritional indicators all contribute to reductions in childhood mortality. Currently, 79% of Cambodian children are fully vaccinated compared to only 67% in 2005. Stunting and underweight, measures of malnutrition, have also decreased since 2000, and anemia prevalence in children has declined slightly as well. Still, 40% of children under 5 in Cambodia are stunted, or too short for their age. This is a sign of chronic malnutrition. In addition, more than half of children (55%) age 6-59 months have anemia.

Improving maternal health indicators likely contribute to the reduction in maternal mortality. According to the 2010 CDHS, 89% of women with a live birth received antenatal care from a skilled provider, and 71% of births were assisted by a skilled provider. This marks a substantial increase from 2005 when only 69% of women received skilled antenatal care and only 44% of births were assisted by a skilled provider.

Women today are also more likely to use modern methods of family planning. Currently more than one-third (35%) of married women are using a modern method of family planning compared to 27% in 2005. Subsequently, the total fertility rate in Cambodia has dropped from 3.4 births per woman reported in 2005 to 3.0 births per woman reported in 2010.

The 2010 CDHS interviewed 18,754 women age 15-49 and 8,239 men age 15-49 in more than 15,000 households. 

About the survey: The 2010 Cambodia Demographic and Health Survey (CDHS) was conducted by the Directorate General for Health (DGH) of the Ministry of Health and the National Institute of Statistics of the Ministry of Planning. ICF Macro provided technical assistance for the survey through the USAID-funded MEASURE DHS program. Funding for the CDHS was received from USAID/Cambodia, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the Health Sector Support Program-Second Phase (HSSP-2).