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Safe childbirth

This Real Gift certificate has the value of medical supplies and other equipment that enable safe childbirth for a woman from the poor areas of Cambodia.

By purchasing this Real Gift certificate you will support our HEALTH program.

See below for the preview of our Real Gift certificate, read a story or watch the video about how a Real Gift helps.

€ 29,50

By purchasing this certificate you will contribute to the aid program HEALTH.

Millions of people in the world’s poorest countries don’t have access to health care. HIV/AIDS epidemic causes more deaths than all war conflicts put together. Half-a-million women die during pregnancy or while giving childbirth.

We want to change this! In Afghanistan, we build hospitals and health centers with the proceedings from the HEALTH program. In Cambodia, we improve maternity ward facilities, which are often without electricity and sterilization devices. In Namibia, we help to treat HIV positive patients and we try to raise public awareness about ways of preventing the spread of the virus. In addition to this, we supply artificial baby milk for infants whose mothers are HIV positive. By doing this, we prevent the transmission of the insidious disease from mother to a healthy child.

 

In the province of Takeo in Cambodia, one out of ten children dies before reaching the first birthday. This is a result of poor quality and availability of health care and medical equipment . People in Need have been trying to reduce maternal and infant mortality since 2008. We support 28 health centers based in villages, which serve more than 400,000 people.

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Before we didn't even dream about the kind of care we can now receive during childbirth

"I gave birth to my first son 16 years ago in terrible, unhygienic conditions with the help of an unqualified midwife. I don't even want think of what could have happened if there had been complications. At that time, there were no health centers and many women died during childbirth. More recently, I had my second son with the help of three nurses, surrounded by lots of equipment, the purpose of which is unknown to me. I really felt safe," 36 year old Oum Sophat tells us. She gave a birth to healthy boy weighing 3kg in a health center supported by People in Need.

A few days after giving birth she was sitting under the roof of her house lulling her second son to sleep. "We have been trying for a second child for 16 years and started to lose hope. We are very happy now. I'm amazed at how much things have changed since I had my first son. My midwife was very good at explaining how to look after my son and me. The only thing that worries me is how I will manage to nurse my boy. I work as a sewer in a textile factory and I get only three months of maternity leave. At the same time I'm told it's good for my baby to be breastfed as long as possible," says Oum, whilst she receives an after-birth gift from People in Need - a bar of soap, a towel and disinfectants for her child. In the meantime, her husband, who was making tea on an open fire, joined our conversation. "To begin with I was worried because my wife had very high blood pressure but the nurses recognized the problem very quickly and managed to reduce it. I'm really grateful for the care that is provided to my wife and my son. Before, we couldn't imagine such professional care. In Cambodia we have to pay for health care and I would be prepared to pay even more than the current fee of $10. In the end, they didn't even want us to pay this because I'm retired and my wife only earns $90 per month," says 56 year old Stung who was present at his son's birth. Stung is a former teacher, who works on his small rice field in his retirement. Both he and his wife are very appreciative of the fact that their son can have regular check-ups at the health center and that the nurses provide them with useful information regarding baby-care.

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Mrs Oum with her husband

 


Antenatal care

 


An Entry into a typical health center

 


Facilities and care in our health center

People in Need in Cambodia

People in Need have been working in Cambodia since 2008. We focus predominantly on reducing maternal and infant mortality rates. These are caused by poor healthcare, its low availability to the poorest population and, in some cases, by harmful traditions.

In the province of Takeo in the south of the country, People in Need supports 42 health centers where we have created an environment for women from surrounding villages to give birth safely. We equipped the centers with medical equipment and installed running, drinking water and electricity. We have been working with mothers directly in their communities and we have been running health awareness workshops. There are over 576,000 people living in the catchment area of the health centers, of whom 286,000 are women.

Safe childbirth in Cambodia

We met Chanta during an educational workshop for mothers next to the health center Leay Bo. “Childbirth in the center was ‘happy’” according to her, a typical expression used for successful births in Cambodia as not every childbirth has a happy ending. In Cambodia they call childbirth ‘crossing the river’ because it’s just as dangerous as this feat for both the mother and for the baby.

„This was my second childbirth and so it went quicker than the first one. I gave birth to my first child in the center too but it looked different then. My relatives carried water to my bed in buckets but now there is running water directly to the delivery room. They also didn’t have lights but now they use a special light.”

A lot of changes have taken place in the local health centers in the past two years. People in Need provided 28 of them with electricity, running water and medical and other equipment needed for the delivery room. In 2009 there were 4,500 children born in these centers.

„A volunteer health care worker came to our village and told us that we were invited to a meeting of mothers with midwives from the health center. I know the midwives so I was interested to hear what they had to say” Chantou says, explaining how she found herself at this meeting. “It was interesting. They were telling us about pregnancy and childbirth but also about child illnesses and what to do. I knew some facts about pregnancy from previous meetings but I didn’t know, for example, that I can prevent diarrhea if I wash food in boiled water. I also didn’t know that I can be provided with medicine for diarrhea at the health center. It's good to know - next time my children get diarrhea I will take them to the center straight away instead of waiting until things get really bad."

People in Need, together with midwives from the health center, organizes workshops for mothers from villages in order to educate them about safety during pregnancy and childbirth but also how to look after children. Many Cambodian children suffer from malnutrition firstly because of bad diet of their pregnant mothers and secondly because of an unbalanced diet in their early childhood. Malnutrition tends to be an accompanying factor in children diseases, treatable in the developed world but in Cambodia potentially leading to deaths.

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Some facts about Cambodia

Cambodia belongs to one of the poorest countries in its region. More than 35% of people live on a poverty line with income lower than $1 per day. There are 45% of children underweight or undernourished.

The situation in Cambodia is attributed to a long drawn out war and conflicts which culminated between the years 1975 – 1979 when 2 million people were killed as a result of the brutal Red Khmer regime.

Cambodia has moved on in the past 10 years. The economic growth of the country reached 13%. The country is still recovering, however, and there is still a lot of unrest among the population.

Here, you can have a look at what your Real Gift will look like. You can click on the previews of the printed  and electronic gift certificates below. The picture will be enlarged so you can take a better look at it.

The greeting in red on the certificate preview will not appear on your Real Gift Certificate. Instead, you can write a greeting yourself on your printed certificate  when you receive it by post. For the electronic certificate, you will have this option in  your basket.

Preview of electronic certificate

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