EQUITY

Where Mondulkiri, Cambodia

Direct beneficiaries
Over 1,300, more than 50% of whom are girls and mothers
(40 community volunteers, 20 village chiefs)

Context
In Cambodia many women die during pregnancy or due to childbirth complications.
In Mondulkiri, in the north-eastern part of the country, in the tribal communities of the Bunong ethnic group out of every 1,000 newborn babies 80 die within their first five years of life.
There are many reasons for this: distance from hospitals, health staff’s inadequate training, scarce governmental and provincial resources, mistrust towards the state, lack of awareness on the part of women and their partners of the importance of prenatal care and assistance techniques during childbirth.
In addition, there still exist animist practices, such as “roasting”, a ritual aimed at driving away evil spirits, which forces the mother to stay with the newborn in a hut for 40 days with a constantly heated brazier under the bed. Such an environment puts the survival of the baby and the mother herself at risk.

From CIAI’s perspective, offering these girls and women the best possible healthcare is the first step towards protecting them.

Only by strengthening women’s role and by making them, as soon as possible in their childhood, custodians of a new awareness will it be possible to trigger a real change in attitudes that will spread out from the heart of these communities; this could never occur as a result of medical care that is forced on the population by an authority that is perceived as distant and, sometimes, hostile.

What we want to achieve
Reduce neonatal and maternal mortality rates in the province of Mondulkiri. Guarantee girls and women their right to health.
Make girls and women aware of the importance of healthcare and prevention.
Provide girls with health education, especially as regards reproductive health, until they become mothers.

What we do
We aim to expand the mobile clinic service so that it reaches 20 new villages, which have never previously been reached by health services, with a view to carry out thorough health checks on children and mothers.
We educate parents regarding the topics of children’s hygiene and diet.
We support the community volunteers’ work aimed at sensitising fathers to their role in their children’s health protection.
We create women’s committees and promote new female community volunteers.
We develop awareness campaigns that involve young mothers and aim to reach the rest of the community through them.

Partners
Mipad (Mondulkiri Indigenous People Association for Development), a Cambodian association that has been fighting for years for the rights of the indigenous people of Mondulkiri

The Health Department of the Mondulkiri Province, the local authority responsible for providing health services to the population

Donor
Fondazione Mediolanum